Has the Time of Protecting the Syrian Product Come to an End?

Syrian participants taking part at Damascus International Fair seem to be almost agreeing on one opinion. The fair for them does not represent an occasion for direct interaction with the buyer or the customer, or even the consumer, rather it, and above all, represents an occasion to import product that is not available “according to rules”, at the Syrian markets, and specially the European product which importing it is still prohibited, whereas customs have been cancelled once and for all on the Arab-made product in accordance with the agreement of free Arab trade zone.
Syrian merchants and importers express plainly that allowing them to import a certain quantity of the European products on the sideline of their participation in the fair, is the real motive behind their participation. Some of them said that the volume of the imported goods will be enough for about 4 months, and others said that the quantity of goods they had imported will be all sold directly after the end of the fair.
The ultimate demand of all the importers is to open the Syrian markets in front of world products, because this, in turn, we contribute significantly in developing the local product through real competition.
The question is: has time come to put our industry under the test opposite world products?, or is the time of protecting the local product still less problematic for Syria’s national economy?

Iraq and Syria: Economic Ties that Transcend Politics

On the sideline of the visit paid by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Syria, Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, Mr. Sufiyan al-Aw held talks with his Iraqi counterpart Hussein al-Sharestani centered on studying the concluded agreements between the two countries in the different oil fields and promoting cooperation in these fields.
Mr. al-Aw discussed with Mr. Sharestani means of activating the joint cooperation agreement in oil and gas industry, and the agreement of laying a pipeline to transform crude oil, as well as the agreement of exchanging oil products.

Iraqi Minister of Trade Pays Damascus International Fair a Visit and Expresses His Admiration of the Syrian Product

Iraqi Minister of Trade Abdul Fallah al Sudani, paid Damascus International Fair at its 54th session a visit. Sana quoted Mr. al Sudani as saying that his visit to the fair is an expression of the interest of the Iraqi government by the Syrian product, and developing the trade and economic relations between the two countries, as well as increasing the volume of trade exchange to include different industrial and agricultural products.

The French “Lafarge” company Studies the Establishment of Two Cement Factories in Iraq

An investment bank said that the French “Lafarge” company which produces cement said that it is studying the establishment of two cement factories in Iraq with a total cost of $450 m. The company, the biggest company which produces cement in terms of market value of shares, said that it is competing to win a contract estimated by $ 150 m for renewing the cement factory in Karbala with a total production capacity of 2 million tons annually.

Syria Sells Egypt Wheat from Its Strategic Storage

Syria and Egypt have signed an agreement stipulating of continuing selling the Syrian wheat to Egypt, within the framework of the equivalent deals system between the two countries. According to the agreement, Syria will import 176.000 tons of wheat which represents the remaining quantity of the deal.

Iran Seeks to Increase its Non-Oil Exports

Assistant Iranian President, Ali Saidlu said yesterday that his country’s capacity of exporting non-oil and technical and engineering services products is estimated by $50 bn annually. Mr. Saidlu said that the goals of the Iranian government now are concentrated on the free zones in a way that would allow implementing economic patterns that would in term facilitate activities of production and internal as well as external investments in these zones, and promoting production with the aim of increasing exports and finding solutions for the problems in the industrial sector.

The Opening of the Fair of the Palestinian Industries – 2007 in Al-Birh

The Fair of the Palestinian Industries – 2007 was opened at Al-Birth city in Palestine with participation of about 85 companies. The fair due to last for two days between 20-22 is organize by trade and industries chambers in Ramallah, Al-Birh, Al Khalel, and Nablus governorates.

Damascus Chamber of Commerce Discusses Means of Cooperation with a Delegation of Turkish Businessmen

Members of Damascus Chamber of Commerce have discussed with a number of Turkish businessmen prospects of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, underlining the importance of establishing a joint marketing company for promoting the Syrian and Turkish products market, and preparing promotional field studies in this respect.
It is worth mentioning, that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries has reached in 2006 about 37582.6 million Syrian pounds, the value of Syrian imports from Turkey has reached in 2005 about 21322.5 Syrian pounds forming 4% of the total Syrian peoples, whereas the value of the Syrian exports to Turkey has reached in 2006 about 16260 million Syrian pounds which equals 3.22% of the total Syrian exports.

The Mauritanian “SNIM” company Sells about 1 million tons of Metal Annually to “China Minmetals Corp”

The Mauritanian “Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM)” company for Iron has concluded a deal with the “China Minmetals Corp” according to which it will sell it about 5.1 million tons of iron raw materials annually.

Companies Indexes

- Kuwait’s index has risen by 1.20 points at early dealings today, reaching 12573 points.
- Iran inaugurated yesterday “Sablan Barga” textile and cloth factory at Ardabil governorate with a total cost of 1800 billion Iranian riyals, which would create about 5000 job opportunities and exporting 70% of its products abroad.
- Algeria has recorded a surplus of mining products estimated by $50 m during last year for the first time in 11 years.

Companies Indexes

- “Abu Dhabi Group” has announced that it acquired 50% of “Arvato Middle East Sales (AMES)” company, the regional representative of the German “Bertelsmann Arvato” specialized in mass media services and digital telecommunications.
- The Austrian “Vienna Insurance Group”, owned by the city’s government, has announced that its profits have increased during the first half of this year by 50.3% compared to the same period of last year.
- The Japanese “Canon” company for electronic industries said it would circulate a new digital camera of SLR type characterized by high efficiency that reaches 10.1 mega pixel at the market late of this month with a total cost of $1300.

Bids & Contracts

- “Abu Dhabi Group” said that it bought a share of 50% of Bertelsmann unit for mobile phones services in the Middle East within the framework of its policies to promote and enhance its activities in the telecommunications sector.


- The Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened the biggest aviation and space fair in his country in Moscow with the participation of 800 companies from 40 countries.

A Special Publication of the 54th of Damascus International Fair

The Sixth Day

Indicators continues to cover the activities of the 54th of Damascus International Fair.
Indicators toured on the sixth day a number of pavilions, among them the Egyptian pavilion.
In addition to the wide participation of the governmental Egyptian sector represented by official Egyptian establishments, among them the Egyptian company for industrial investments, the Egyptian private sector has taken part in the fair in the fields of metal, engineering, wood, leather, and even foodstuff industries.
Indicators met Mr. Mustafa Mihran, the General Manger of Exporting Department at Egypt Company for Cement “Qena”, which was established in 1997 with a total capital of 600 million Egyptian pounds, aiming at producing cement with its different kind and other affiliated products. Mr. Mirhan said that the company’s participation is an occasion to meet and be acquainted with other competing companies and hold talks with them and exchange information, as well as concluding deals and signing agreements.
Mr. Mirhan further said that a meeting with a number of Syrian merchants and businessmen is due to be held tomorrow at the Syrian Chamber of Commerce to discuss means of promoting cooperation and concluding a number of deals.
Indicators also met Mr. Mohammad al Awadi, the Director of Exporting Department at Alexandria Company for Thermal products, one of the biggest thermal companies in the Middle East. Mr. Al Awadi said that the company produces annually about 650.000 tons of different kinds of thermal products, and exporting about half of the production quantity to many countries such as Yemen, Sudan and Eritrea, adding that the company has entered lately the Spanish and the Syrian markets.
Furthermore, Indicators met Mr. Imad Issa, Manager of Promotion Department at “Laser Fashion” company for leather industries, who talked about his company’s participation in the fair by saying that this is the second participation of “Laser Fashion” company in the fair. He added that this participation represents a chance to meet and conclude deals and agreements which in turn would help develop and expand the company’s different kinds of products including shoes, coats, and bags.
Indicators has also toured the UK pavilion, where it met Mr. Firas al Saied, the Sales Manger and the Client of “Kenwood” company. He talked about the company’s participation at the fair by saying that “Kenwood” company is a well-established British company in the field of electrical household industries as well as sound equipment.

Indicators is a daily economic watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on Voltairenet.org in Arabic and English. Also worth a read is Tendencies, the daily Near East political watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and French languages.