DAMASCUS, (SANA)- President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday applauded the role which the Syrian industrialist have played during the events taking place in the country in terms of buttressing the national economy and maintaining guarantee of the workers' rights.
President al-Assad's praise came during his meeting with the members of the Board of Directors of Damascus and Damascus Countryside Chamber of Industry.
Discussions dealt with the situation of the industrial sector at the current stage in light of the sanctions recently imposed on the country, with the Board members stressing that these sanctions will not shake their adherence to their stances of rejecting the attempts at destabilizing Syria and all forms of foreign interference in its internal affairs.
They also affirmed the industrial sector's ability to cope with these sanctions, which they said could constitute an incentive to boost the national industries through dedicating work for developing local products instead of depending on the imported ones.
President al-Assad stressed the importance of continuing consultation and partnering between the industrial councils and the relevant state bodies to draw up a viable economic strategy that goes in line with the reality of the situation and does not change whenever governments and administrations change.
The talks during the meeting also discussed a set of ideas meant to upgrade the industrial sector, the most important of which being the means of ensuring energy sources to ensure the functioning of factories.
Other ideas discussed at the meeting were those related to activating the role of the Industry Directorates, overcoming the obstacles that hinder the establishment of industrial clusters and establishing small clusters for small industrialists in Damascus and its countryside.
President al-Assad gave instructions to the Board members to immediately hold a meeting with the relevant bodies to discuss their suggestions for developing small and medium-sized industries.
For their part, the Board members thanked the President for his keenness on providing every possible thing to help ease the pressures on the industrialists and their establishments and prompting them to continue work in the service of the homeland and citizens.
They made particular reference in this regard to the recently issued decrees and decisions related to exempting the industrialists from accumulated fines and scheduling taxes imposed on their factories.
In a statement to SANA after the meeting, Chairman of Damascus Chamber of Commerce Basel al-Hamwi said that President al-Assad showed deep interest and support for industrialist in order to maintain the cycle of production and preserve facilities.
He said that the meeting dealt with the Chamber's work plan following the restructuring of its board of directors, and that the plan is based on supporting the industrial sector and industrial facilities, specifically small and medium facilities, finding solution to the exceptional and difficult conditions during the current circumstances, and activating partnership between the private sector and the government, among other points.
Al-Hawmi added that the meeting discussed several other issues, such as having the Finance Ministry implementing a mechanism to protect local industry from products imported from countries with which Syria has signed free trade agreements as long as there are similar locally-manufactured products, in addition to supporting food and agricultural industries and activating the project for the exchange of currencies between Syria and friendly countries.
In a similar statement, member of the board of directors of Damascus Chamber of Commerce Marwa al-Aitouni said that the meeting with President al-Assad reassured industrialists, and that the meeting discussed allocating areas for small and micro industries, in addition to discussing partnership among ministries in decision-making and among industrialists and traders, in addition to preserving national industries, finding markets for them, and focusing on dealing with friendly countries.
For his part, board member Hisham Arab al-Halabi said that President al-Assad has a deep understanding of all the issues that were posed during the meeting, affirming that the next stage will focus on developing and supporting industries and national economy, as President al-Assad called for supporting industry and finding new markets for exports.
H. Said / H. Sabbagh