Syria: A commitment to change
In March 2000, following Syria’s first major cabinet reshuffle for more than a decade, Mohamed Mustafa Mero was appointed as prime minister, replacing Mahmoud Zuabi, who had held the post since 1987. Previously the governor of Aleppo, Mero is widely recognized as being fully committed to economic reform in Syria. Last month in Damascus, he spoke to Euromoney about the outlook for the reform process
What do you see as the main reasons for international companies to consider investing in Syria?
Syria has a number of very important competitive advantages. First of all we have very strong historical, economic, political and cultural links with Europe in general and with the UK in particular. It is our intention to further promote and advance those links.
Additionally, Syria has a long history of civilization and many attractions in terms of historical monuments and treasures. It is also a country that has traditionally been a meeting point for many cultures and civilizations. Because of its geographical position Syria has always acted as a bridge or an entrepôt for foreign trade and as an important meeting point with links to the north, south, east and west. Aleppo in particular was the most important station on the silk route from Europe to the Far East. Damascus was the most important point on the route from Constantinople to Aden, a route that includes Mecca and is referred to in the Holy Quran. In the winter traders would go south to Yemen and in the summer they would go north to Syria because of the change of climate.