In response to the Syrian “Mother Association” invitation, collaboration with Damascus University, The first international economic conference was held at the University of Damascus on Saturday, Sunday 16-17 November 2017.
Towards a national economic vision for the futureof Syria.
The conference was attended by many academics, researchers, intellectuals and some interested parties, included seven sessions which discussed eighteen papers:
- “The developments in the global economic system and its impact on reconstruction and development in Syria” provided by the researcher and economic Dr. Ahmed El-Sayed El-Naggar from the Arab Republic of Egypt, commented on the Arab thinker Dr. George Qurum from Lebanon.
- “The approach of post-war Arab economies and protest movements and their mutual effects” presented by economic researcher Dr. Abdel Halim Fadlallah from Lebanon, Professor of Economics at the Lebanese University and Head of the Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation.
- “The losses of the Syrian economy during the crisis and the impact of economic sanctions on it”, presented by Dr. Mustafa Al-Kafri, Professor of Economics at Damascus University, commented by Dr. Mahmoud Znaboua, Professor of Economics, University of Damascus.
- “Syrian economic relations with the countries outside before and during the war”provided by economic researcher Samar Qusaybati, commented by economic researcher Dr. Shibli Abu Fakhr.
- “The Role of the State in the Economy” presented by Dr. Mohamed Samir Mustafa, Secretary General of the Arab Society for Economic Research, Professor of Economics at the National Institute of Planning in Cairo.
- “Good governance and authority” – Good governance is a modern economic term that includes a number of non-specific definitions, as it overlaps many administrative, economic, social and legal aspects- provided by Dr. Ahmed Al-Khader and Professor Faten Al-Arq.
- “Development and Social Justice” prepared by Dr. Mohamed Abdel ShafieIssa, Professor at the Institute of National Planning in Cairo , Dr. Mustafa Al-Kafri presented on his behalf .
- “Entrepreneurship and the development of small and medium enterprises in the national economy” presented by Dr. Samer Mustafa, Assistant Professor at Damascus University and Dr. Ayman Dioub, Assistant Professor at Damascus University,Dr.TayseerZaher, dean of the Faculty of Tourism, analyzed the working paper submitted by the former researchers.
- “Corruption as a Defective Factor for Development and Reform” by Dr. Mohammed Said Al-Halabi, Advisor and Researcher in the State Planning Commission, Lecturer in the Institute of Economic and Social Planning in Damascus, in cooperation with Dr. Mahmoud Al-Arq, head of the Syrian Mother Assembly.
- “The developmental track of the Syrian economy, the 21st economy in the field of agriculture”, presented by Dr. Mohamed El Tawil, agricultural researcher, consultant at the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry lands (ACSAD),Dr.Rafiq Al-Saleh, Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Damascus, Director General of the Arab Center for the Studies of dry areas and desert Lands (ACSAD), commented on working paper presented by Dr. Tawil.
- “The path of development in the field of tourism” presented by Dr. ShaabanShobasi, Professor of Tourism Economics at the University of Damascus.
- “The development track in the field of industry” provided by FuadLahham, an economic researcher and secretary of the Syrian Economic Sciences Association.
- -“The social results of neoliberal political economy in Egypt” presented by: prof. Ashraf Bayomi from the Arab Republic of Egypt.
- – “Financial and Monetary Policies” presented by Dr. Ali Kanaan, Professor of Economics, Finance and Banking, University of Damascus.
- – “ Keynes thought as a source of a national reform program”, a Syrian case presented by Dr. AlberDagher, Professor of Economics at the Lebanese University.
- – The development track and the investment environment in Syria” presented by Dr.MdeanDeab. General manager of investment commission.
- – “The identity of the Syrian economy” presented by Dr. Mahmoud Al-Arq, head of the Syrian Mother’s Assembly, commented on it by Dr. FadiAyyash, lecturer in the field of management and marketing.
- The sessions managed by:
- First Session : Dr. Abed Fadila, Professor of Economics at Damascus University, Chairman of the Board of Securities and Financial Markets commissions of Syria.
- Second Session: Dr. Karim Abu Halawa, Professor of Political Development and Future Studies, University of Damascus.
- Third Session: Dr. RuslanKhaddour, Professor of Economics, University of Damascus.
- Fourth Session: Dr. Adnan Humaidan, Professor of Economics, University of Damascus.
- Sixth Session: Dr. Mohamed Hassoun, Faculty of Political Science, University of Damascus.
- Seventh Session: Dr. Elias Najma, Professor of Economics, University of Damascus.
- The closing session discussed proposals and recommendations to be presented in the executive summary.
- Issues discussed during the Conference.
- First: The Developments of the global and Arab economic system and their effects.
- After World War II, the United States dominated the world economic system because of the continuation of military operations and the victory of the Allies after the United States joined them in the war, Where all warring states emerged from the war devastating except the United States, which was geographically far from the battlefield.
- The military contribution of the united state at the end of the war was a declaration of the war end and victory over Germany, Axis powers.
- The United States contributed to the reconstruction of what the war destroyed in Europe by the Marshall Plan, where its primary purpose was to establish economic models that were in orbit (and chose the model of the sponsoring state, that was close to the American interventionist economic system) to counter the Soviet Union and its successes achieved in war and post-war, especially through the successful establishment of the model.
- With the rise of the eastern(Soviet Socialist), and western camps(American capitalist) , the countries of the developing world were polarized, and this was the prelude to a bipolar world order
- The US strategy focused on:
- – The weakening of the eastern camp led by the Soviet Union.
- – Preventing developing countries from achieving progress in all social, economic, political and cultural fields.
- The United States has used its influence and economic power to develop the activities of the United Nations, its organizations and institutions to achieve Its aggressive goals of domination.
- The United States used the International Bank and the IMF to implement its economic policies of pushing developing countries to pursue liberal economic policies
- The United States has used the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as an instrument, in order to implement economic policies.
Under thepressure of the global recession, rich capitalist countries adopted the market economy ideology that Thatcher started in England in 1979 and moved to the United States under President Reagan 1980.
At the same time, the seeds of economic globalization (and its new liberal economic) spread according to center studies in Zionist, European and American.
All of that reflected in the Soviet Union, where it broke up and declared the failure of his socialist experiment with the beginning of the nineties of the last century, accompanied by:( the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the unification of the two Germany, war to get Iraq out of Kuwait), in addition, the failure of developing countries in achieving their development.
It seemed that the world was subject to what (Fukuyama), American philosopher announced:” capitalism had won and the world had reached the end of history”.
when the forces of globalization were At the height of its political economic and cultural successes, The forces of capitalism found a suitable opportunity, so they tightened control over peoples, and pushed them into globalization, which enable the United States (the center of global monopolistic capitalism) to tighten control of the global economy.
To achieve its goals, it hindered the development of developing countries, pushed Russia and the former socialist countries to pursue free-market policies.
The policies of the United States appeared clear by weakening States , criminalizes attempts against sovereignty , and placing them within the path of the only option( join the train of globalization, and subject to the requirements of the one-pole domination), In addition to promoting American values.
As for the Arab world, two projects were launched in the mid-1990s:
The first is “the New Middle East” presented by Peres,Israeli Prime Minister with US blessings.
The second is “the European partnership” presented by the European Union.
The projects of the United States and the European Union have two main objectives:
The first objective: to ensure the existence and continuity of “Israel” as a central state in the region.
The second objective: the continued dominance of the West and Europe in the region: this means:
– The status of oil and its revenuesIn the service of US interests.
– prevent a strong Arab economic bloc capable of imposing its respect on others
– During the previous two projects, the issue of political economic reform was presented.
The political reform desired by the West and America was limited to democratic transformation and human rights, while economic reform represented a transition to a market economy.
The United States, with the help of Europe, used all means to propose a liberal economic agenda. International institutions (the IMF and the World Bank) worked to promote a liberal economy by offering loans, Opening the door to foreign investments in order to subject to the conditions of the Fund and the World Bank.
While the United States achieved success in imposing its hegemony and making the majority of the developing world under its control, some of the so-called “States of Opposition” stood in the way of achieving its objectives. This led the United States to accuse them of terrorism, (As it did in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq), especially after the attacks of11 September in 2001.
The United States launched the “Greater Middle East” project after the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, and the destruction of its national institutions, killing and displacement of millions of its people, and the establishment of a loyal regime, using sectarian methods and racism.
The Greater Middle East project was a development of the former Peres project, where the United States began working on it by all means under the pretext of democratic transformation and economic reform
In contrast, the US-led global economic system began to suffer from difficulties and crises that were formed in 2008 by a severe crisis initiated by the financial and banking institutions in the United States Called the “mortgage crisis”, the result of which was a deep crisis that approached the foundations of the global capitalist system.
The us economy has affected by mortagecricise, where it seemed clear through the continued deficit in the balance of payments ,trade balances and in the escalation of internal and external debt,On the other hand, there was a rise in the economies of China, Russia, India, Brazil and some emerging economies at the expense of Western capitalist economic powers that dominated the global economy.
There were many contradictions about who controls the global economic system, Most notably the continued use of the US dollar as an international reserve currency, despite the suffering of the United States from a severe economic and financial crisis, and its debts exceeded the debts of developing countries combined.
The continuation of the US dollar as an international reserve currency allowed the United States to enrich illegally at the expense of the peoples of the world. Therefore, China, Russia and other countries sought to change the status of the dollar as an international reserve currency. They also sought to build international economic relations through the formation of BRIX ) And the establishment of an inter-state development bank with a capital of $ 100 billion.
China has put forward the” One Way “Initiative, inspired by the symbolic value of the ancient Silk Road, to achieve economic revival among the countries of this belt On the basis of peaceful cooperation and mutual benefitWithout a state thinking of taking control of another.
The Brix model is more solid if compared to the capitalist west model which based on hegemony.
While economic openness and free trade were one of the basic features of rich countries
in international economic relations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) emerged as one of the institutions of economic globalization to lead international trade and evaluated on the basis of free market among all countries of the world, where markets and trade were a cornerstone of the neoliberal economic agenda, as it became clear that rich countries with competitive advantages for their products led the transition to a market economy and opennessas the US do.
Recent developments in the United States, the rise of the far right and the success of Trump in the presidential elections have transformed their economic priorities in order to face economic difficulties and deficits in line with the economic crisis, They therefore call for protection of their products, withdrawal from economic blocs and bilateral economic relations with other countries Instead of multilateral agreements and put the slogan of “America first” .. This means a real setback to the concepts that establish economic globalization.
In light of developments on the international scene, it became clear that the world is shifting from a single pole to a multipolar world after the retreat of the Western Europe and the United States politically, economically , culturally, and the rise of China, Russia and other rising countries.
at this stage American and Western domination in general increased in order to preserve their interests.
The war on Syria comes within these developments, where its influence is growing through:
-The fragility of the Arab regional system, due to the dependence of some Arab regimes abroad and their integration into the global economy and external interests, Which prevented the establishment of an Arab bloc.
– There was a state of ignorance that accompanied the results of liberal economic policies and the Arab societies’ penetration
The practices of the Arab political regimes that led to the marginalization of societies, weakening of political life, and more frustration, pave the way to the so- called “Arab Spring”, which put the Arab societies in the hell of terrorism .
Some of Arab and international regimes provided terrorist groups with money and weapons, also The media contributed with war on Syria through worst and most dangerous campaigns around the world in order to spread the killing and destruction.
Some national groups entered into this dangerous political game by joining extremist religious forces and constantly demanding intervention from foreign military, that lead to an unholy alliance between the extremist religious forces, the fascists, the forces of the capitalist system, and the Arab religious and economic. backwardness, using semi-intellectuals of leftist and liberal Arabs, where intellectually, and physically associated with the West and neo-liberal ideology.
The Syrian tragedy was formed among tensions that led to the death and injury of many civilians, displacement of half population inside and outside Syria, destruction of the country’s infrastructure, loss more than three quarters of national economy.
The Syrian people lived a misery life full of destitution, most of them suffer from unemployment, stress because of the lack of basic services of water and electricity.
At the same time, warlords (drug dealers, speculators and smugglers) who have taken liberal economic policies have emerged as the basis for profit at the expense of Syrian people.
As well as new businessmen who were on the ruins of the Syrian national bourgeoisie.
A group called the “opposition abroad” contributed to feed the war against Syria, powered by the United States that used them to achieve their goals, and the authorities to seek help from friends, such as Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran to counter terrorism and strengthen the military situation in Syria.
At this stage other forces as the United States and Turkey intervened, with the support of Europe and some Arab regimes,
it became clear, With the victories of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, that terror was over, especially after the end of the so-called ” Islamic State” group, except some terrorist group and militias, as “Al- Nusra” or” Al-Qaeda”, which end by specific military operations.
It should be noted that the continued support and encouragement of terrorist groups by the West was clear evidence that the signs of a political solution in Syria began to emerge.
The main aim of the continued support of terrorist groups was to obtain the greatest gains at the table of political solution.
From this point it was possible to understand why some groups stand against any political solution in Syria, simply, the war on Syria serves their interest.
Since the first year of the war against Syria, others out sides Syria started talk about the reconstruction, and a new constitution in the side meetings of the United Nations and its organizations, This was accompanied by the reports of research centers and studies of Zionism, European and American, in order to kidnapping the future of Syria and share its economy by subject this country to the requirements of globalization and push it towards the global and capitalist economy.
the United States, which continue its hegemony, ignoring the current transformations in the world, deny the right of people in self-determination . It is driven by its sense of greatness and priorities on the Earth.
On the international scene, the Arab countries are unstable, where they have faced political and economic failures, beside The deterioration of the social situation, for example: the failure of the Arab regional system in establishing an independent and strong Arab regional system came within that framework, because
The international environment was not suitable for the establishment of an independent and strong Arab regional system, and the prevailing regimes in the Arab countries didn’t have any real intention for joint Arab action.
The League of Arab States (LAS) was founded in the mid-1940s, with the strong desire of the Arab to unite, but its charter organized by regimes seeking to protect themselves and their interests more than achieving unity, while Colonial ambitions lie in preventing any unity. which led to the convergence of the interests of some Arab regimes with the interests of colonial powers
in establishing an ineffective structure of the regional Arab system that was shaken at every crisis or when any problem arose.
Although the League of Arab States established many institutions and organization, But it was not able to put the country on the road to unity, Moreover, political events and the positions of some Arab regimes have contributed to the strengthening of fragmentation and the weakening of Arab positions in international forums.
Added to that, Some Arab regimes did not hesitate to conspire or attack other Arab countries.
Arab economic integration programs subject to western aspiration, which led to failure in achieving the minimum level of joint Arab cooperation.
Many Arab regimes submitted to the resolutions of the United Nations, its institutions and organizations, at a time when the resolutions of the League of Arab States were considered aviolation of national sovereignty.
The Arab League was used to cover the aggression of the United State on Iraq and then on Libya. The League of Arab States exercised the most severe types of conspiracy in the Syrian crisis.
The League of Arab States adopted a decision to freeze Syria’s membership, which was considered a clear violation of its charter, then it approved a series of economic sanctions against Syria in line with the restrictions imposed by the United States and the European Union.
The League of Arab States also sided with the so-called “opposition” and its false claims.
On the other hand, the Arab Renaissance project with the emergence of terrorist movements and fascism , full back, while the Israeli aggression, along with the greed of the old colonial powers and the new colonial countries(Capitalism Center) escalated.
Second: Reform between internal necessities and external pressures:
Syria and the stalemate of economic reform and its result:
Rich industrial countries didn’t suffer from the problem of reforming their systems and economic institutions, they had the institutions and the mechanisms to facilitate reform in response to the need of developments, and Treatment of in time, including corruption (large and small).
The developing countries (Syria and the Arab countries) lack self-sufficiency mechanisms for many political, social and legal reasons, which lead to find new and complementary reform mechanisms from outside the institutions, Therefore, the external projects” The Greater Middle East” project, and” the European partnership” include in part , economic and administrative reform, through programs and agendas that serve the American project In dominating our capabilities, linking our future with American interests,
Which strengthens the European-American Zionist project.
After the use of force in the invasion of Iraq 2003, and indirect signs of invading Syria, US President George W. Bush presented the “New Middle East” project in its clear Israeli formula and called it “the Greater or Broader Middle East” within 2002 US strategy, which focus on:
– The conflict of the twentieth century was about ideas, but at the end of the century defeated extreme visions, Moreover, The United States had the unprecedented power and influence to use for strengthen the balance of power that supports its goals in democracy and human rights.
-The United States was not the strongest in the world, it was the most free and just around the world, so it encourages change.
-Fighting terrorism was and still one of the priorities of the United States, and it took unilateral steps if necessary.
-With regard to the Middle East, the United States declared its commitment in establishing an independent and democratic Palestinian state living with the State of Israel in peace and security.
-The United States sets conditions for granting , including the acceptance of the principle of free market.
-The US strategy urges a phase of global economic growth through free markets and free trade, based on the fact that market economics rather than government control, and government control were the best way to eliminate poverty.
-The American document focused on expanding of development through openness, Establishing the infrastructure of democracy.
The American strategy document summarized the thoughts of the (neoconservative) group,( the Zionist lobby) and the Yemeni thought in general.
It explained the interests of the capitalist industrial society based on the oil-military-financial-media power.
The extreme right represents the core of the American strategy, which seeks impose an extreme right-wing ideology on the world.
The United States uses its military power to support, encourage and resolve any battle or crisis that arises suddenly .
In addition to military power, the United States use the economy and trade relations to implement its strategy through its liberal initiatives and agreements, which led US planners, along with the Zionists and extreme liberals, to rearrange the countries under “the Greater Middle East” project, which serves the American-Israeli interests.
“The Greater Middle East” project was put forward by American president on 9-4-2003 after the occupation of Iraq.
The Bush Project used the results of the 2002-2003 Arab Human Development Report to pass his ideas and promote a special strategy on( freedom, knowledge, enhancing women), in addition, the project explained that underdevelopment of the peoples led to the rise of terrorism which threaten the Group of Eight (G-8), the major industrialized countries.
The Bush project found that the Middle East was at a crossroads:
-The first way: the situation remains as it is, posing a direct threat to the region and to the interests of G8 members.
-The second way (alternative) was the path of reform.
The United States thought that the reform lies In filling the three shortcomings identified in the Arab Human Development Report.
From the perspective of the United States, reform requires a transition to democracy.
With regard to the economy, it is necessary to expand economic opportunities by:( activating the private sector and encouraging the growth of an experienced business class, Strengthening financial sector, implementing reform plans that reduce state control, lifting barriers on financial transactions between countries, modernizing banking services, improving and expanding financial instruments, supporting the market economy, establishing regulatory structures, supporting the liberalization of financial services, removing tariff and non-tariff barriers, Commercialization of the private sector, facilitating the entry of goods and services along with many funds serving facility the transition to a market economy, linked the countries of the region to the global capitalist economy,) in order to ensure the dominance of the United States and its allies , headed by Israel.
It is noteworthy that the Washington Institute for Near East Studies puts a strategic report At the beginning of every new American state.
We have to know that the report in the first term of Bush Jr. entitled “US engagement in the Middle East – a moment of concern,” and the report at the beginning of his second term was entitled “Security Peace”.
because of the importance of the report, we will present the most important things that are included to anyone who wants to know the secrets of the US strategies towards the Arab region in general, and Syria in particular.
As for reform, the report stresses on the need to isolate and marginalize Islamist movements through democratic reform, also The United States should focus on building a better future through communicate with patriots. (Linked to a peaceful solution with Israel), as well as the need to implement political, economic and social reforms.
The report calls for taking the lead in promoting American values, and consider this as the Project for Generation, it is also contained an important section to the relationship with Syria, so it illustrated that the US faces three options with regard to Syria:
–The first option: the continued isolation of Syria
-The Second option: do a radical change through The increasing pressure on Syria.
-The third option: use the policy of procrastination, as happened in Libya.
With the continuity of Syria’s failure in securing its borders with Iraq (especiallyafter the failure of threats made by the US Secretary of State to Syria),The report of the American Institute refers to two complementary approaches:
First: Access to small groups of Syrian opposition, and the Lebanese opposition to the presence of Syrian in Lebanon, then provide financial support to these groups.
second: work with other countries to increase pressure on Syria if it maintains its policy of rejection.
With regard to the Syrian interior, the issue of reform raised since 2000 and had been the central issue for discussions and dialogues among the government and academic staff, as well as among popular organizations.
The discussion focused on two reform options
1- The option of correcting the track of development, reforming the public sector, root out the corruption, paying attention to the administration, education and health of citizens, and by insisting on keeping developmental role of state .
– 2-The second option was to move towards a market economy and tooke decisions in line with that direction, through the advice and recommendations of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Union, Meaning implementation of new liberal policies, according to” wifak Washington”.
Although the Constitution in force, the 1973 Constitution, provides for the social transfer through economic planning, no decision on economic directives was reached until the tenth country conference in 2005, when the conference adopted a recommendation on the transition to the liberal economy, But economists and before deciding transition to the liberal economy began to make decisions and procedures that carry the contents of the market economy, meaning, the direction of the socialist economy to the capitalist.
As the Conference decided to recommend a move towards a social market economy, economic policymakers claimed that their transformation into an open market economy was the same as the contents of a social market economy, taking advantage of the ambiguity of the term “market economy” and the lack of experience of economic officials, aided by the missions of international institutions and the European Union that arrived to Syria, as well as a specific group of academics and bureaucrats who were in contact with liberal chancellery, European partnership negotiations, international organizations and institutions, as well as new businessmen and some Syrians living abroad.
The practical step towards a market economy was from the Gulf States and some Arab and Syrian businessmen under the heading of “investment”.
These calls were initiated by the investment elites that came from the Gulf States and went to support and encourage the government to invest in Syria in marginal sectors such as tourism, banks, insurance companies and other financial services such as real estate and commercial speculation.
The question during the prediction of the future of the Syrian economy is what made the economic administration biased towards liberal policies beyond the provisions of the Constitution, which provides for the shift towards socialism and the statements of officials calling for economic pluralism in addition to the policy decision to move towards a market economy?
The answer to this question is important, because it explain s many subsequent events and developments
If we take in our consideration economic sanctions, the pressure exerted by the United States, the advice of the European Union, the international institutions, the temptations of the Gulf states and some investors, we found that the economic administrative moved towards a liberal economy, accelerate steps towards a market economy, Quick steps towards economic openness, liberalization of foreign trade, liberalization of domestic prices and markets based on:
-There are huge funds in the Gulf looking for areas of investment, Syria for example more eligibility from others, and it was necessary to attract more economic liberalization measures.
-Millions of Syrian dollars were smuggled abroad, so we must restored by providing facilities and taking measures for their owners.
The objective was to demonstrate the seriousness of the transformation.
These trends coincided with practical measures to allow the private sector work in the banking and financial fields of( insurance companies, hospitals, real estate and so on).
On the other hand, the government started the austerity measures that led to a decrease in social, educational and health allocations. In addition , the liberalization of prices, the government reconsidered, also the support provided to consumers and producers under the slogan “Delivering support to those who deserve it”.
In terms of fiscal policy, taxes have been reduced to the rich and large corporations.
All the economic transformations were centered around a “free market – an open economy driven by the interests of the people – a small government”. The argument, based on the conviction of economic officials and the literature of the new economic liberalism, that these trends will lead to high economic growth allowing the majority to benefit from this growth According to the law of fall, although it will lead to concentration of wealth in a few hands.
The outcome of these changes along with other factors in a few years was:
-Pressure on the livelihood of the majority of the population, so the poverty increase.
Increased unemployment rates.-
– thousands of workshops and factories were stop or reduce their production as a result of unequal competition with foreign goods, especially clothing, leather and furniture, as well as food industries.
-The expanded gap between( incomes, prices,
incomes and wealth).
-The decline of rural conditions and the expansion of rural-urban migration.
-Spread of slums around cities.
-Spread of corruption in all economic and social fields.
-The widening phenomenon of rent income (income without production) due to the decline of productive work in favor of brokering, mediation and illegal operation.
In terms of macroeconomics and indicators, it was clear that imbalances occurred in the economic, financial and monetary balances, especially in the budget deficit, the trade balance and the balance of payments.
The objective of economic policies within their liberal tendencies:
– Reducing the role of the state in the management and development of the economy.
-rebuilt markets and gave them priority in the management, also development of the national economy by launching productive market forces without interfering with the functioning of market mechanisms.
-Rebuilt domestic capitalism , and put it it the pillar of economic action, with closer ties to global capitalism.
In addition, there were other political, economic, social and cultural objectives related to Syria’s role in the Arab region or its historical composition.
As mentioned above, the market economy and the new economic liberalism were a cornerstone of “the Greater Middle East” project and the European Partnership project, to make Israel play a central role in determining the policies of the region, therefore it was necessary to pass through Israel on the issue related to the integration into the global economy and in addressing the international community, joining globalization through the establishment of normalization and peace with the Zionist entity as a prerequisite.
In addition, the process of economic transformation had other objectives extending to social and cultural aspects, including:
– A real change in the structure of the economy and society by economy transforming into economic and social relations, spreading the culture of market and consumption on the expense of productions and their values.
– Changing the social structure by manufacturing a new social class of businessmen which was consider the social and economic support of the new system instead of workers, farmer, and self-employed, the middle class and the small national bourgeoisie, where the economic and political system depend on them.
– The economic management was not aware of what happen, but worked for it. The proof of this was a shift in the Syrian economy towards a free market economy and related outcomes, summarized by the government’s report on the achievement of the objectives of the 10th Five-Year Plan as follows:
– The plan succeeded in changing the course of the Syrian economy.
– The plan was able to achieve its main goal in completing the process of transformation in the structures and economic frameworks in Syria for more open, competitive economy and integration into the global economy, towards a flexible economy based on market mechanisms accompanying with a broad change in the role of the state .. The success of this approach reached the point of no return .
The most important thing in the government’s report:
– Transforming economic structures by adopting market mechanisms and changing the role of the state.
– This approach lead the Syrian economy to the point of no return, meaning, block any reconsideration of economic policies and took in our consideration what happened in terms of changing the economic in Syria.
which kind of plan that kidnap Syria’s future and prevent development, also considered its policies final?
Third: Issues raised by liberal economic reform:
Reform issues and outcomes raised the following important issues:
– The issue of economic and social failure, and the economic and social role of the State.
– The issue of social justice, and the decline of the middle class.
– The nature of the economic system in the country and the identity of the economy, management, and mechanisms.
– Corruption and its role in hindering development and reform.
– Good governance.
Economic studies and reports indicate to the deterioration of the economic and social conditions through official figures and statistics issued by international organizations within the framework of answering three questions:
What about poverty?
What about unemployment?
What about the disparity between entry?
The rise of unemployment, spread poverty and the gap between incomes were clear evidence about the situations.
It is clear that a large marginalization process was taking place for the majority of the population with many factors:( rising inflation, high prices, the migration of rural people to major cities, the expansion of slums, The increase in economic operations away from censorship called “the shadow economy” , the increase of smuggling and illegal activities), while the minority received care, Accompanied with the deficit in the general budget and trade balance due to imbalances in economic balances.
As economic and social problems escalated, some slogans advocated political reform, democracy, and human rights began to emerge.
Although the government tried to contain the protests, but it confronted them later.
The western forces found in the increasing protests in Syria, the intervention of security to reduce and eliminate them as a suitable opportunity to achieve their goals in destroying Syria.
The religious speech was used to send the militants and weapons to Syria, in order to feed the terrorist groups that were based on al-Qaeda, concepts.
The west, led by the United States and its allies from some Arab regimes, was feeding the war on Syria (materially, media and culturally), exploiting poor rural environments that suffer from ignorance, poverty and marginalization to achieve their goals.
As barbaric acts of terrorism increased, ( killings, destruction) , millions of other cities and towns were displaced, they moved from place to place and travel across countries for peace and security, at the same time Groups of the so-called “opposition” continued to roam the capitals of the world, where they were used by the West and international organizations to achieve goals unrelated to the demands and needs of the Syrian people.
Internal and external opposition did not present an economic and social program that met the hopes and aspirations of the Syrian people, while the government continued to deny what was happen in Syria.
Instead of announcing a “war government” and a specific economic program to support the armed forces, it turned toward cover the shortage of foreign exchange and the budget deficit.
As a result, the Syrian government seemed confused and not serious in the face of the electricity, water and other social services crisis.
The crisis in Syria became catastrophic because of the traders of wars seeking for quick profit. The prices of fuel, bread and other materials raised on the pretext of rationalizing support”.”
This had increased the burdens on millions of Syrians, while the government was busy in preparing for the reconstruction phase in Syria, it gave the private sector priority in reconstruction (infrastructure) with the support of the World Bank.
It should be noted that the private sector was reluctant to invest, but today demands it.
The entry of foreign companies under local cover from the private sector, and the pretext of the need for funding, in addition, the government’s decision to raise the prices of essential goods “rational support” considered a continuation of the government approach before the war implementing liberal economic policies, Meaning , the Syrian government didn’t benefit from the experience of war on it.
Proposals and recommendations
We must find the appropriate means to overcome the difficulties facing the state, which limit its growth and Stand in the way of progress to ensure that they are not at risk.
The participants in the conference discussed in each session the recommendations of the paper presented.
Special attention had given to issues of social justice, development , and to addressing the disastrous consequences of the war on Syria, particularly with regard to the displaced and refugees to return, which preserving their dignity and humanity, as well as contribution to the reconstruction of infrastructure.
It is important that all this be done through a clear definition of the nature and identity of the Syrian economy in a manner that ensures the widest participation of the Syrian people, which will contribute to shaping the political, economic, social and cultural future of Syria.
– overcome the economic and social impact of the war, and work on the strategy of construction and development.
– Create a more flexible and responsive to the variable, based on Optimal investment of possibilities to reach the results we need.
– Breaking isolation through canceled economic sanctions, and success in re-shaping of external relations,In line with national interests.
– Promote individual initiatives, making profits within the framework of responsibility, social welfare and sustainable development.
– Fighting corruption and limiting the disruption of the state, Because of its effects in killing the national spirit , obstacle its ability of reform in all areas.
– The reform of public sector institutions and the methodology in which they are managed, added to that it is necessary to distinguish between the role of the state as a trader and economic actor in a fair and transparent competitive environment and its role in managing economic life and achieving balance between all its sectors.
– The transition from a non-productive economy to a productive one, focusing on the agricultural and industrial sectors that contribute to high value-added and high economic surpluses.
– Achieving balances between (income, consumption, public and private spending, both investment and consumption – demand and production – the ratio of external indebtedness and potential increases in exports).
– Create a good and attractive investment environment Capable of examining options without compromising national sovereign capacities.
The need for a qualitative leap through rehabilitation and preparation of human resources in quantity and quality, and the transition to what we call “the knowledge economy” and benefit from human beings.
- The application of the phrase “crises create opportunities” for the Syrian situation depends on find the opportunities, then hard working to benefit from and invest it.
Crisis management requires quick thinking and finds several alternatives,(innovation and flexibility are key supporters).
– Our opportunity lie in rehabilitation and investment of human cadres,Because of its direct positive impact on management and investment returns.
The geographical location of Syria and the environment helps to strengthen the services sector (transit, marketing, banking, tourism), similar to the Malaysian and UAE experience
-Provide an attractive investment environment that attracts a lot of capital around the world to invest in Syria.
– The exploitation of wealth in a sustainable and manner will attract Syrian funds abroad and foreign funds to invest in Syria and thus create a competitive industrial power.
– We need to conduct detailed local and applied studies enable us to create a solid foundation,away from imitate the others, which devotes chaos.
– The role of the state, including (institutions, organizations, laws and organs), based on logical and practical basis and on the basis of the results that we wish to achieve, in order to ensure continuity and development of the economic process.
– The strength of the economy is a key element in the power of the state, and we must move towards enabling our economic in Syria, by that we can overcome pressures and sanctions.
– All political forces in society must play a clear role in leading the national economy to ensure sustainable growth, economic and social development based on the effective, justice in the distribution, and improvement the standard of living.
Syrian economy / economy21:
The transition to the desired economy requires a new social contract between the basic forces of society (the state – the private sector – organizations – civil society) and it requires active participation in the formulation and implementation the process of national economy.
Access to the required economy not taken the right paths. The uncertainties about the shape and nature of this economy still exist, added to that, the officials dialogues failed to put all the parties of the economic process within a clear and devolving path.
It is important to know that the economic orientation must linked to public policy and social requirements, which lead to practical solutions to this issue.
Because the great interest of researchers and institutions did not reach a unified framework of economic identity, the objective of this study is to achieve an integrated case of development to formulate a high-level economic model in terms of professionalism.
First of all, this period requires a thorough understanding of our reality in all its aspects (locally, regionally and internationally) and it need integrated study
of the structure of the Syrian economy based on results which enabling us to rearrange our priorities according to the principle of efficiency and achieving the highest benefit at the lowest cost.
on the basis of sustainability and the search for new opportunities in order to prepare logical proposals adopted from all sectors of society and its institutions, accompanied by implementation programs to adjust commitments, powers and responsibilities.
Because the next stage is open to all options, the various forces will struggle for better gains on the ground, so we must have the clarity, determination to prevent the Syrian economy from turning into an economy of chaos, Where hegemony dominates on the expense of the Economic and Social Development .
– What are the reasons for the proposal of this kind of economy? How can it be applied and what are the requirements of this application?
– If the goal is to raise the standard of living of the people and address the problems of the economy and society, will the desired economy achieve this goal?
The answer to these questions raises the question: What is the role of the state in economic and social life, if we assume that economic and social development remains the goal of society, so what is the way to development?
Hence the importance of dialogue on the term economy of the twenty-first century, Meaning
To seek a model of self-reliant development that is open to the world, without contradicting our national independence.
The successful economic experiences of some countries can be used, but it cannot transferred, because of different environment .
Any model of economy in any country must take the particularities of that country, such as its heritage, traditions , economic and social relations.
In order to define the economy of the twenty-first
century, we have to know:
– push for the establishment of an integrated sector between the public and private sectors, partnership with the objectives of development.
– Public and private sector in the concept / economy 21 / is part of the economic system and must see as the main proponents of economic development.
The public sector should not be based on obsolete political rhetoric, but on the basis that the public sector constituted an important base in the national economy, which required the protection and development of its performance, and removal of obstacles.
– The private sector in Syria enjoys good experience and serious contributions in the field of economic and social development.
The Syrian experience was pioneering with the private sector, which ,after independence, contributed in building a solid economy.
There are vivid examples of the contribution of many investors in building the Syrian economy. This is represented by many textile factories, and other hundreds of enterprises and institutions.
The private sector is an important factor in the structure of national economy, and in the process of development, so that all society support the contribution of the private sector to the work, moreover, we have to know that the support and protect it come from inside.
There are a number of tasks and economic balances that the private sector can do, as well as the market with its known mechanisms, especially those tasks that need state intervention to achieve the economic growth and social justice.
Building the 21st economy model:
The follower of economic development pattern in Syria found deficit in many aspects, each deficit is offset by a lost opportunity and a lack of benefit, in addition to the loss of our resources. Therefore, we must, first of all, formulate an urgent rescue plan in the short and medium term (one to five years) A strategic economist built on solid foundations.
The following questions are under consideration:
What approach or economic pattern should the next phase be?
How can we draw a strong and sustainable Syrian economy, theoretically and practically, with all its contain (administrative, regulatory, corrective)?
What are the practical solutions to the current economic issue?
The economy is an interactive state of a set of components. It is important to study the theories that govern the economic process, but we are in the process of preparing for non-adherence to certain forms, or imitate the experiences of others, but we will act to build economic models, from the binging, in order to move from complexity to Simplification and adaptation to variables according to the abstract approach in economic analysis, by depending on the following four points:
– Taking advantage of all possibilities, and mobilizing efforts through encouraging economists in the process of economic construction.
– The sustainable management of natural resources through the exploitation of untapped resources, search opportunities for growth development, also achieve the maximum benefit from advantages.
– Openness to the outside without prejudice to national sovereignty.
– The human beings is the basis of civilization and evolution.
The practical solutions to the economic issue focus on the role of state in “development ” which appear as follows:
– Review of financial and tax policy.
– Review the policy of economic production.
– Review the supervisor role of the state, On a well thought out basis.
– Demonstrate the power of the state and its effectiveness in eliminating all aspects of corruption.
– Creating a system that links wages to the price level.
Building the 21st Economy Model:
The most important things include:
1 – The Syrian economy is based on the principle of economic pluralism represented by the participation of (public – private – joint) sectors in ownership of means of production and the process of production .
2- Benefit from the diversity of the Syrian economy, and investment laws.
3. Transition From the debt economy to the productivity economy, and from the debt economy to the finance economy.
4. The State regulate the market and establish the necessary laws and regulations to maintain the dynamic balance of the economic joints, and the absorptive capacity of the national economy, as well as the balance between the goals of economic growth, and the goals of social and regional development in order to achieve sustainability.
- 5-Providing people with all basic social services, in order to ensure benefit for all people.
6 –Achieving Integrity between the general economic policies, and work to stabilize the financial and monetary policies.
The economic decision is a national decision that is co-authored by( government, legislative bodies, trade unions, civil society organizations), and all concerned parties.
8. Activating the role of independent economic media
9. The judicial authority shall exercise its functions independently and make its decisions in any economic case as quickly as possible, without prejudice to the principles of fairness, justice, transparency and equality before the law. It shall also inform the legislature of the results of implementing the laws on the economic process and submit its proposals as required.
10. Review scientific and academic curricula in accordance with new data, and take care of applied sciences
11- Preparing the general economic vision and policies.
A national task force s formed in accordance with the principles of efficiency and integration with the participation of all actors and national parties (governmental – legislative – unions – universities – Union of Chambers – civil society organizations).
The team consists of a steering group with a high level of experience and all technical, economic and legal competencies. It is followed by several specialized teams in the various economic, social and environmental fields.
These teams prepare scientific studies for all economic aspects based on the current reality. they identify the necessary needs for the recovery stage, then move to the stage of building on the basis of complementarities and balance.
• Conducting integrated studies related to the balances in the structure of the economy (income, consumption, public expenditure, investment and consumer spending, saving and consumption, demand and production, external indebtedness, and the required increases in exports to pay these debts and their benefits).
The team carry out the required studies in time, also use regional and international expertise.
The studies that are adopted are published, the vision and general economic policies are prepared based on them.
- The general economic policy is consider the framework for the preparation of general strategies in all sectors.
Building the model was not limited to defining the guidelines, setting the vision and economic policy, and then general, sect oral strategies, because things are measured by their results.
In order to reach the goals of strategies, a set of accompanying programs needed for implementation.
These programs identified under the name of “governance- Alhawkama”, although we didn’t have to adhere specific frameworks or to replicate others’ experiences.
“Alhawkama” is a term used in the business environment and must achieved in all economic transactions.
“Alhawkama”: a system of relationships with legal, regulatory, corrective dimensions that connected all interested parties in a comprehensive approach without any conflict, in order to ensure the balance of interests among these parties within transparency, credibility, justice and accountability.
Some claimed that the current economic system was still working, but we need some adjustment, while others said, it served the interests of the elite.
It is time to create economic systems serve all people, this is a necessary for the extension and development of social, economic and political life.
Because of the complexity of economics, a wide range of models and techniques
( governed by previous factors),had required.
It is clear that the greed of some neighboring and distant countries of Syria’s economic wealth, each of these countries had its own influence, they tried to invest in the post-war.
This rapid investment of post-war will led to economic productivity, and it will put the economic situation in a major imbalance in the future.
A roadmap for social and economic transformation must be developed for a sustainable and comprehensive development economy, which led to the most important economic question:
Can this economy recover again?
What are the factors behind the recovery of this economy?
We must develop local economic capacity in all directions rather than relying on foreign countries. There are many examples in the world that suffered from consequences of the wars.
By faith and determination to succeed , these countries were able to be in the ranks of leading countries, Japan for example , which was destroyed by World War II.
There is no doubt that the economic situation in Syria after the war will be difficult, but with a stable of political regime, depend on human beings, reconstruction and unity, the Syrian economy will be better again.
Long live Syria