Italy extends $27 million loan to Syria

27 Mar 2010

(MENAFN) Italy’s Foreign Ministry has announced a plan to offer $27 million worth loan for Syria to accelerate its economic and financial reforms, SANA reported.

The loan will back up the role of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in Syria’s economic development, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The loan is part of the implementation of an agreement signed by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and his Syrian counterpart Walid Al-Muallem during Italian President Giorgio Napolitano’s visit to Damascus earlier this month.

The agreement provides that Italy should open a crediting line from the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGCS) for the Syrian SMEs.

The funding will be managed by the local authorities of Syria while a mixed panel will supervise the performance of the SMEs benefiting from the funding, according to the statement.

The Italian initiative aims to accelerate Syria’s economic reforms and the plans to liberalize its financial system gradually in the framework of its tenth five-year development plan (2001-2006), it noted.

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