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Syrian industrialists threaten to declare bankruptcy unless gov't intervenes

English.news.cn   2012-10-01 05:45:23            

DAMASCUS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The worsening situation in Syria has prompted industrialists nationwide to launch distress calls on the government to positively intervene to offer facilities and protect their establishment, or they would go broke.

The spiraling violence in the northern province of Aleppo and the attacks and counter-attacks between government forces and rebels to control the provincial capital, deemed to be Syria's second largest city and its economic capital, have further blocked economic activities in the city, forcing many industrialists to shut down their businesses or flee the country.

Those who stayed behind, have appealed on the government to work for protecting their establishments from rampant looting and ransacking in the province.

The call was made on the heels of a recent fire that has gutted several shops at the covered medieval old market in Aleppo.

The chairman of the Syrian Chamber of Industry at Aleppo criticized what he described as the government's disregard of the industrialists' demands in the province to protect their cities and industrial areas against "daily armed attacks" on industrial establishments.

Fares al-Shihabi told the pro-government al-Watan newspaper Sunday that repetitive calls on the government have gone unanswered, prompting the industrial chamber to establish the " Professional Safety Bureau" to provide the necessary security protection for the industrial city with the assistance of well- trained carders.

Yet, he said, "This solution was to no avail because it's originally irrational."

Most industrialists and investors in Aleppo complain that they have no choice now but to close their economic establishments and fire their workers, even if temporarily, owing to a raging fighting.

Rami Martini, head of the Tourism Chamber in Aleppo, also warned of the danger of security deterioration on the tourist sector, adding that all establishments at the old city in Aleppo are "under fire."

He told al-Watan newspaper that the tourism sector is a " stricken sector in every sense of the word."

Also, the Damascus Chamber of Industry filed a strongly-worded memo few days ago to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil, warning that unless their demands are met, they would go bust.

The memo urged the government to consider the need to pressure private and Islamic banks to give Syrian businessmen a grace period of no less than six months and reschedule loans and facilities granted to traders, industrialists and individuals.

"In the absence of any favorable response, a lot of us will be obliged to declare bankruptcy legally," the memo warned, adding that such a step would enable merchants, industrialists and investors to go on with their economic activities and pay their financial obligations.

The economic crunch owing to the extraordinary crisis has enormously squeezed the business sector and forced many businessmen to delay loan repayment.

Wael Habash, an economic expert, warned against the impact of bankruptcies on the business sector, saying it is natural to show bankruptcies in crises, but the important thing is that it does not exceed 13 percent and does not become a phenomenon.

"Without an effective government intervention, the economy would be basically affected as small bankruptcies would snowballing," Habash told local media.

Habash explained that most capitalist countries intervene during crises to protect their economies.

The World Tourism Council said recently that tourism investments in Syria will fall by 13.8 percent to reach 28.8 billion Syrian pounds (slightly more than 501 million U.S. dollars) , representing 5.8 percent of the total investment in the Syrian economy in the current year.

It explained that with the continuing unrest in Syria, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism industry in the Syrian economy will decline by 20.5 percent this year to 116.8 billion Syrian pounds (2.03 billion dollars), representing 4.2 percent of GDP, which is the worst performance globally.

The economic sanctions that have been imposed on the country by most world countries to accelerate the collapse of the Syrian administration have enormously affected all kinds of business.

A recent statistic issued by the Ministry of Transport on Sunday said selling of modern cars has decreased by 71 percent in 2012.

It said that the number of vehicles newly registered in the country during the first half of this year reached 30,000 -- a clear decline when compared with the number of vehicles registered during the first half of 2011, which amounted to 103,000.

Editor: yan
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