Under the slogan “Together Towards a Common Arab Market”, the Arab Economic Summit launched its activities in Damascus, Syria. The Summit was attended by 55 Arab businessmen from UAE, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt along with international delegates, ambassadors and investors.
Syria’s highlight investment opportunities in all fields were presented to attendees. Project in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, industry and real estate development were presented. Also, for the first time in Syria, pitchers presented investments on specific tourism projects.
Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Mr. Mohammad Samer Al-Khalil, said that the summit was held in cooperation with Regional Office of the Arab Exporters and Importers Union in Syria along with the Ministry of Economy and the Council of Arab Economic Unity.
Mr. Al-Khalil emphasized that investments in Syria, despite its low values, has continued even throughout the years of Syria’s war. He pointed out that the investment environment in the country has indeed improved, especially after the work done by the Syrian government aiming to elevate the investment environment and facilitating investors’ needs. The government has also edited Syria’s legislative structure governing investment to ensure investment flexibility and ease of execution. Moreover, Syria introduced investment incentive policies which includes the new investment law project, which is currently in its final stages.
The Minister clarified that the Syrian market today is a promising investment environment in the fields of construction, economy and especially in the field of industry, as this sector suffered a major hit during the past couple of years.
According to the Head of the Regional Office of Arab Exporters and Importers Union, Hassan Jawad, three Emirati companies have already shown interest in several tourism and construction projects, requesting for all necessary details pertaining to said projects. He added that an agreement has already been reached to provide the companies with all necessary facilitations regarding these projects. He also highlighted the seriousness and the high financial capacity of these companies.
From his end, Mr. Maamoun Hamdan – Syrian Minister of Finance – highlighted the rapid growth in investments in all sectors in Syria due to intensive governmental procedures taken and the promising foreign investment opportunities. He emphasized on reinforcing the financial, banking and insurance sector along with setting the legal and legislative structure in order to attract more foreign and Arab investments.
The Summit concluded with several recommendations including suggestions to increase the focus towards encouraging Arab-Syrian investments and facilitating its economic-exchange as well as developing laws that would contribute to an effective trade-exchange. The Summit also called for breaking the economic siege imposed on Syria along with initiating the role of Arab economic media and developing a futuristic vision to attract activities and events and therefore, moving from theory to application. Finally, the Summit recommended establishing an intra-Arab mechanism that facilitates all said recommendations.
Finally, during the Summit, a full study on investment projects was proposed by the Council of Arab Economic Unity and presented by the Head of the Regional Office of Arab Exporters and Importers Union to all Arab Unions in Arab countries.