Syria has accepted an offer of advice from the World Bank on how to attract investments to the country, the government daily Tishrin reported Tuesday.
"The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation -- a World Bank affiliate which assists the private sector -- have said they are prepared to produce studies on all aspects relating to support for investments in Syria," the paper said.
"The studies will deal with ways to develop a clear strategy to encourage investments by establishing a legal framework," Tishrin added.
"The Syrian authorities have welcomed favorably any development likely to attract Arab and foreign capital and channel them into projects which sustain the economic infrastructure," it said.
The paper said that the economy ministry had suggested to the IFC that it review the profitability of certain vital projects and advertise them inside Syria and abroad to obtain the necessary funding.
The ministry had also asked the World Bank to draft legislation and tax regulations to facilitate the influx of foreign capital.
The paper stressed that Syria was now regularly reimbursing its World Bank debts under an accord reached in 1997, when it paid off 269.5 million dollars.
Interest totaling 256.9 million dollars is being repaid over five years at six million dollars a month.
Since the accord, the IFC has recently granted a one million dollar loan to a Syrian company specializing in farm irrigation systems.
Syria is slowly opening up its economic sector, a process, which is expected to accelerate under Bashar Assad, who is in line to succeed his later father Hafez Assad as president - DAMASCUS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)