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Syrian economy achieved strategic goals in 2010
Damascus - The Syrian economy achieved strategic goals in 2010 in terms of economic stability, increasing foreign currency reserves, improving budget deficit, decreasing the public debt, diversifying non-oil imports, increasing investment spending and decreasing inflation rate.
The year 2010 formed a watershed between the five-year plans of 2010 and 2011.
The Syrian economy maintained the stability of the Syrian Pound and increased deposits in the SYP and in foreign currency through high liquidity rates in the Syrian banks which count at 20 banks, including 11 private banks, 6 governmental bank and 3 Islamic banks.
The insurance sector made a remarkable progress in terms of achieving a market volume of over USD 400 million, expected to reach USD 500 million by the end of 2011. The DWX index of Damascus Securities Exchange ended last year at 1719 points, making a 719 points increase and a growth of 71, 9 percent. The trading volume reached 6, 885 million shares and the number of deals hit 36682 with a trading value of over SYP 9 billion.
Investments also increased in Syria in 2010. According to the Syrian Investment Agency, the number of enlisted investment projects increased from 261 projects in 2009 up to 385 in 2010 at an estimated cost of more than SYP 85, 10 billion.
The biggest share of the investment projects which amounted to 201was allocated to the industrial sector, followed by 127 projects to the transport sector and 15 other projects to the other activities.
The number of enlisted foreign investment projects reached 41 with a total cost estimated at SYP 13, 8 billion. Turkey came in the first place with 9 projects followed by Lebanon with 5 projects and Kuwait, the UAE, Britain, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Jordan and Palestine, in addition to joint projects.
The volume of investments in the industrial cities of Adra, Sheikh Najjar, Hassia and Deir Ezzor amounted to SYP 480.3 billion, 100 billions of which invested in 2010. The total number of industrial constructions reached 4569, 218 of which entered actual service and production in 2010.
By the end of 2010, SYP 3.7 billion were spent on developing 90 industrial areas, in addition to allocating SYP 7 billion in the 11th five-year plan.
The work of the Ministry of Trade and Economy in 2010 was mainly based on establishing partnerships and economic spheres with Arab and foreign economic blocs, in addition to launching several business councils.
In this context, Syria was granted the observer status in the world Trade Organization (WTO) as an initial step to get full membership.
The Ministry also signed a framework agreement on establishing a free trade zone between Syria and the Mercosur countries.
The Ministry of Finance launched Damascus Securities Exchange starting with SYP 5 billion treasury bonds. It also announced the general state budget for the fiscal year of 2011 which is estimated at SYP 835 billion.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced new areas for oil exploration and production, signed a number of agreements and opened several gas treatment plants. It also launched calls for bids to explore oil in 8 sites, covering 40% of Syria.
Syria's gas production in 2010 reached more than 28 million cubic meters per day, providing the Ministry of Electricity with 20 million cubic meters.
Syria comes in the 11th place among the world countries in phosphate reserves which amount at 1.8 billion tons, attracting regional and international investors.
On the agricultural level, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform signed a number of agreements and memos of understanding and implemented several programs and plans related to increasing green areas and land reclamation.
The number of forest plantations planted until November reached 3 millions and an area of 1788 hectares was reclaimed. The total area of reclaimed land for fruit tree-planting projects reached 17487 hectares.
Syria ranked third in tourism growth rate in 2010 according to a report by the World Tourism Organization. The number of foreign tourists who visited Syria in 2010 was 2,378 million compared to 1,436 million in 2009 with a growth rate of 66%.
The sector of telecommunication and IT carried out many activities including signing a number of agreements to reform and develop its structure.
The tariff for ADSL Broadband Internet was decreased by 31%. A number of contracts were signed to carry out internet broadband portals.
Syria came in the third place among the world's countries in the International Informatics Olympiad for the first time.
 
(Syrian days - SANA)
Wednesday 2011-05-11  |  22:36:53   
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