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Syrian envoy underscores potential for Pakistani investors in Syria

October 09, 2023

Islamabad : Ambassador of Syria to Pakistan, Dr Ramez Alraee has welcomed the Pakistani businessmen including real estate developers to avail the opportunity to invest in the iconic tourism rich country of the Arab Republic of Syria as it had entered into its reconstruction phase after fighting a successful long war against terrorism on its land.

In an exclusive interview to this agency at the Embassy here Sunday, the Ambassador appreciated the long history of strong bilateral ties between the two brotherly Islamic countries. The Ambassador underscored that cultural, economic and tourism diplomacy should go hand in hand along with conventional diplomacy as the world was rapidly transforming into a multi-polar world and every country should benefit from it.

He said, "Syrian-Pakistani relations are historical and strong, especially since the 1970s, when a strong relationship was brought together between the then Presidents Hafez al-Assad and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Syria and Pakistan respectively. This close relationship between the two sides continued through the visit made by President Hafez al-Assad to Pakistan in 1974 and the visit made by President Asif Zardari to Syria and his meeting with President Bashar al-Assad in 2010, in addition to other visits exchanged between the two sides particularly former President Musharraf’s visit to Syria in 2001, but we are seeking in the current period to give these relations steps forward and in all political, economic and cultural fields.

We believe that the Pakistani side shares our point of view in this regard. "The Syrian Ambassador mentioned that the commercial, cultural and tourism relations between the two countries were still below the required level due to the special circumstances of the two countries, especially since Syria suffered from a terrorist war in the past years and was able to defeat it under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad and the support of the Syrian people for him and the sacrifices of the Syrian Army and the support of allies and friends.

He added that the diplomatic mission of Syria in Islamabad was working to develop relations between the two sides in all areas in the future. Commenting on terrorism, he said that it was a global problem and Syria faced a terrorist war supported by external parties and was able to liberate the largest part of its territory.

"Since terrorism is a global problem that has no religion or nationality, all countries must cooperate in confronting and eliminating terrorism because it threatens international peace and security. Therefore, cooperation among all countries in general should be made to combat terrorism is important and necessary," he highlighted.

On his take on bilateral media cooperation, Ambassador Dr Ramez Alraee opined that media was a very important topic, but the most critical point was that the media should be objective, transparent and honest in conveying the historical events in general. "We welcome any media cooperation between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, especially since this type of media cooperation will help transfer the culture and civilization of the Syrian and Pakistani nations among each other and contribute to strengthening cultural and media ties and relations," he added.

The Ambassador, since his arrival in Islamabad as an accredited ambassador, had visited a number of Pakistani universities in order to strengthen cultural relations between Syria and Pakistan. "There is a limited number of Syrian students studying in Pakistan and a limited number of Pakistani students studying in Syria. We seek to increase that number in the future, and there are arrangements with Educational institutions in Pakistan to increase that number," he said.

Syria, he said is now in the stage of reconstruction and since his arrival here, he has visited a number of chambers of industry and commerce in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other mega cities, and to communicate and discuss strengthening business to business and people to people relations between the Syrian and Pakistani sides in this regard. "In Syria, we have Law No.

18 and its amendments, which provides many among the advantages and facilities for the business community to invest in Syria, in addition to a group of different economic exhibitions that are held in Syria every year, and we invite the Pakistani business community to participate in these exhibitions," he added. Expressing his views on the query to religious tourism potential, the Ambassador said Syria is full of tourist and cultural places, which gives strong support for religious tourism and religious visits to those places.

"Damascus is the oldest capital in the world and full of tourism and cultural sites," he added. Several days ago, in cooperation between the Syrian embassy and the diplomatic magazine Al-Safir, there was a special edition on Syrian Arab Republic that includes pictures and an explanation of the tourist and cultural places in Syria, he added. "Any positive initiative to develop tourism relations in this regard between the two countries is welcomed by Syria," he added.

He informed that at present, two kinds of flights are alternatively operating between Pakistan and Syria including one of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the other by a private Syrian Airline Cham Wings taking direct flight operations from Damascus to Karachi.