Saudi - Syrian holding company at a capital of US $ 100 million
Syria-Saudi Arabia, Economics, 7/15/2000
After the press conference held on Friday at the Damascus Sheraton hotel by four groups of Saudi investment companies after they announced the establishment of the Arab holding investment company under the rules of the investment law no 10 for 1991 and its amendments at a capital of US $ 100 million.
The Syrian minister of information Adnan Omran said that the establishment of this company came as a result of continued efforts made during the few past months and based on the conviction of the investors that investment conditions in Syria have become very tempting.
One of the Investors Wafiq Rida Saeed said " from our experience as international investors we feel Syria is the proper venue for investment." Saeed added regarding tourism "Syria is considered one of the richest in the world. It has 5000 years of ancient history." He continued that "the tourism industry wealth in Syria will be undoubtedly a very big one and what we are in need is a more infrastructure for tourism through building tourism firms, telecommunications and tourism companies."
Four Saudi groups have founded a holding company at a capital of US 100 million to finance development projects in Syria. This is however, the first step of its kind in the country since the election of Lt. Gen. Bashar al-Assad as president.
The declaration of this holding company was made in a press conference, attended by several Syrian ministers including the ministers of information, economy for foreign trade and the minister of state for planning Issam al-Zaeem.
In statements to the press, the representative of " O'Jeh" group to the "Arab Holding investment company" Saad eddine al-Hariri said that the company will invest in the sectors of industry, tourism, real estates, agriculture, telecommunications and that the company's shareholders had held studies started 8 months earlier and covered all legal matters. He added that the four groups decided to invest in Syria due to the atmosphere of stability and the facilities provided after amendment of law no. 10 on encouraging investment.
Al-Hariri said that feasibility studies for several projects have been completed and will be submitted to sides concerned in Syria to start implementation after getting its consent. He indicated that the company will be very active in the banking sector which will work in the free areas recently established. He described the decision taken to permit banks working in the free zones as " a clever decision," as it will avail the Central Bank of Syria the chance to follow up the activity of the banks without making mistakes that took place in other countries which suddenly moved from the self-imposed economy to liberalizing the banking sector totally.
Al-Hariri stressed that President Bashar al-Assad backs the revitalization of investment laws which strengthen facilities before investors who want to work in Syria.
The company's board of directors Bashar Dardari said that the company which was officially declared on Friday ( July 14) was established according to law no 10 on encouraging investment of 1991. This law was recently amended.
Dardari said " we embark on the amendments made on law no 10, adopted in Syria in April which offers investors more facilities. He added the amendments provide extra tax exempts, more freedom in use of hard currency. And offer foreign investors the possibility of repatriating their capitals and revenues after five years of starting the company's activity. The new amendments also avail Arab and foreign investors to buy or rent necessary buildings for the investment projects.
Meantime, a Saudi- Syrian invetsment team decided to launch a project estimated at a cost of US $ 43 million and to build a hotel complex on the Syrian coast.
A source at the Syrian ministry of tourism said that the Arab group for development will announce today the beginning of work in one of the largest tourism investment projects in Lattakia at a cost of 2 billion Syrian pounds ( US $ 43 million ) The project aims at building a five-star hotel on an area of 14,000 dunnums and building an island on an area of 15,000 square meters inside the sea and a port for Yachts, several restaurants and a business center.
The sources said that " promises of economic openness that were coincided with the election of Bashar al-Assad for Syria's presidency have encouraged the investors, especially Arabs among them to invest in Syria."
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