Where has the first investment conference in northern Syria reached?

The Minister of Defense and the Minister of Finance and Economy held a security meeting in preparation for launching the first investment conference in the “liberated” north - December 14, 2023 (Syrian Interim Government)

The Minister of Defense and the Minister of Finance and Economy held a security meeting in preparation for launching the first investment conference in the “liberated” north - December 14, 2023 (Syrian Interim Government)

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The first investment conference in northern Syria has been postponed to the 17th and 18th of next January after it was supposed to be held on the 20th of December in the city of al-Rai in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

The postponement was due to the numerous holidays in December, such as Christmas and New Year, and it is expected that personalities from various countries will come through Turkey to northern Syria.

Where have the preparations reached?

The fifth preparatory workshop for the conference was held yesterday via the Zoom application, and among the participants in the workshop were businessmen and academics residing in different countries, such as the United States, France, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

The Minister of Economy in the Syrian Interim Government, Dr. Abdul Hakim al-Masri, told Enab Baladi that the workshop focused on the challenges and the necessity of translating research into reality and providing solutions based on it.

The participants proposed ideas on how youth can benefit from the national economy, the importance of small projects as they provide additional job opportunities and use locally produced materials. They also agreed on the importance of the conference, especially in the current stage heading towards “voluntary return”. Al-Masri considered that there can be no return without job opportunities.

He talked about inviting non-Syrian investors from Turkey and Arab countries, such as Jordan and Algeria. Meanwhile, the Interim Government will provide approval for those interested in attending the conference.

Although there is no specific number of participants so far, al-Masri pointed out that the invitation is open to anyone interested in investing “properly” in the region.

Research and working papers

The first investment conference in northern Syria is scheduled for the 17th of January at the industrial zone and will continue for two days.

The conference is planned to start with an opening ceremony followed by speeches from guests and the presentation of research in one or two halls for half an hour, in addition to an exhibition of products within opposition-controlled areas and a presentation of the industrial areas.

There are five industrial zones in the northern Aleppo countryside: one in the city of Azaz northwest of Aleppo, which includes spaces for large industries, and the second in the city of al-Rai northeast of Aleppo, which includes craft workshops for the most part. The industrial zone in Jarablus, northeast of Aleppo, mostly includes crafts.

There is a “private” area in the city of al-Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo owned by a businessman who obtained a license to organize it as an industrial zone with available spaces for industries, and another city was recently established in Mare’ north of Aleppo, and all its plots were sold, according to the Minister of Economy in the Interim Government, Dr. Abdul Hakim al-Masri.

Al-Masri believes that two days are sufficient for the conference as it is the first of its kind. He explained that the conference program includes research papers, working papers, success stories of some local investors, and pioneering youth business initiatives.

The conference includes 15 research papers and working papers that shed light on the reality in general, such as research on the investment environment, construction business, the role of entrepreneurship in securing job opportunities for youth, and industrial localization, according to al-Masri.

Participation in research papers in the conference is subject to several criteria, including the authenticity of the research and its compatibility with one of the conference topics, according to the Free Aleppo University.

On the other hand, the head of the organizational committee for the conference, Engineer Ali Halaq, said that the conference includes several main axes, most notably supporting investment in the political, security, and legal dimensions, discussing the reality of investment in the industrial, agricultural, commercial, and construction sectors, discussing the requirements for qualifying infrastructure as an investment incentive, and discussing ways to provide sources of funding, as well as talking about industrial cities and free zones, and the role of the political authority in investment.

Investment conference

The Ministry of Finance and Economy in the Interim Government, the Federation of Economists, the Center for Studies and Research at the Free Aleppo University, and the 2020 IDEA Foundation signed a memorandum of cooperation on August 17th with the aim of achieving cooperation within the investment sector, by holding a special investment conference to “achieve the advancement and promotion of the investment environment in northern Syria.”

The Minister of Economy in the Interim Government told Enab Baladi in a previous interview that the conference aims to attract investments and promote the investment environment in the northern region, evaluate the investment reality, and reach strategic partnerships within it.

 

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