Damascus, (SANA) _ A businessmen delegation accompanying Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil in her visit to Syria on Saturday met their Syrian counterparts at Damascus Chamber of Commerce where the two sides discussed the bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and investment and means of enhancing them.
The two sides also discussed ways of benefiting from the signed agreements between the two countries and the establishment of investment companies in various domains, in addition to exchanging expertise, transferring technology, increasing the volume of trade exchange and diversifying the exchanged goods.
Chairman of Damascus Chamber of Commerce Ghassan Qallaa underlined the importance of Syria's geographical position which is considered a main basis for the investments of Indian businessmen.
Qalla called for continuing the communication between the Syrian and Indian businessmen and exploring the investment opportunities available in both countries' markets.
He highlighted the Indian expertise in the domains of communications and information, indicating that Syria can benefit from this expertise through training the national cadres to transfer technology to Syria.
Qallaa invited Indian businessmen and investors to make investments and to establish investment companies in Syria benefiting from the attractive investment atmosphere in the country and the provisions of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement which allows their goods to enter the Arab markets without custom fees.
For his part, Head of the Indian delegation V.R.S Natarajan said that the basis of the Syrian-Indian trade cooperation has been available for a very long time as it just needs to be activated by both countries' businessmen, expressing the Indian officials' keenness on beefing up the bilateral cooperation to serve the best interests of the two sides.
He indicated that the suitable investment atmosphere and the promising market in Syria enable the Indian investors to carry out projects in several domains, expressing his country's desire to provide Syria with the required expertise and services in the fields of technology, software and environment, in addition to implementing medium-sized projects in the country in the fields of energy, water and transportation.
The Minister Plenipotentiary at the Indian Embassy P.P Sarkar in Damascus expressed strong desire to expand the prospects of economic cooperation between Syria and India, particularly in the domain of industrial and trade investments, calling for taking maximum advantage of the precious investment opportunities available in both countries' markets.
The Indian businessmen are specialized in various domains and sectors such as healthcare, industrial projects, oil, gas, banking services, infrastructure, communications and renewable and clean energy, in addition to real estate, jewelry and information technology.
Syria and India are connected with several agreements on protecting and encouraging investments and diversifying trade exchange between the two countries which hit USD 365 million in 2008.
R. al-Jazaeri / H. Sabbagh