The Ulysses Guimarães Conventions Center in Brazilian capital BrasÀlia, where the meeting of Arab and South American businessmen is taking place, was transformed yesterday into a festival for investments promotion.
In the stage were the advisors, employees and managers of the ministries and agencies of the nations involved in the meeting for heads of state. They presented to the businessmen from the two regions the advantages of investing in their territories.
Syria was one of the Arab countries that brought in their portfolio a list with 98 tourist projects for which they wish to attract foreign money.
According to the projects director of the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, Yasser Eiz Aldin, the country received, in 2004, three million tourists.
The projects, which have as an aim the expansion the sector’s infrastructure, are of hotels, tourist complexes, parks, restaurants and movie theatres.
According to Aldin, the tourist flow is increasing every year in the country. In Syria it is possible to see mountains, valleys, deserts and even historical sites.
“Damascus has more than 10,000 years of history. One sixth of the archaeological discoveries of the world are in Syria,” states the director.
Because it’s an ancient civilization, there are cities where to this day Aramaic is spoken. There are also a series of historic religious constructions, both Islamic as Christian.
Syria promoted in the end of April a fair to show their tourist projects to foreign investors. At the time, 37 projects were presented and, according to Aldin, 127 interested entrepreneurs appeared, whose proposals are being evaluated.
According to the director, a new fair will be promoted before the end of the year. “We will show projects for investments of all sizes, from large to small,” said Aldin.
The great majority of lectures that happened yesterday, at the Ulysses Guimarães Conventions Centre, was about attracting investments.
Venezuela insisted in reserving a room in the complex to show the potential sectors for investments and a bit of the laws in the area. A decree-law from 1992 ensures foreign investors the same treatment given to nationals.
According to the superintendent of Foreign Investments in the country, Mirian Aguilera, who spoke about the topic, as second decree in the country, from 1999, is about protection to investments in Venezuela and a series of guarantees for foreigners, amongst them the transference of resources to the country of origin – as long as internal duties are paid for – and the temporary entry for foreigners working for the company in the country.
The incentives, says the 1999 decree, are a decision of the Executive and are conceded according to the benefits generated by the investment in the country, such as social development, for example.
Last year, foreigners invested US$ 534 million in Venezuela of which 35.36% were invested by the United States, 31.94% by Switzerland, 10.2% by France, 4.3% by Colombia, 4.3% by Spain and 3% by Bermudas, as well as other countries with smaller participation.
Among the sectors in the country with potential for investments are gas and oil, chemical and petrochemical, metals, foods, tourism and services such as call centers. Venezuela has he 8th greatest gas reserve in the world.
The Colombians also made out of their stand at the investments fair, which is taking place in the same place as the business meeting, a place to show the potential sectors for foreign investments.
Last year, these resources increased 53% in relation to the previous year and reached US$ 2.7 billion. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Colombia was of US$ 97 billion.
The business meeting follows up to the end of the day today at the conventions center. In the lecture rooms, ministries and institutions of Arab and South American countries will carry on with panels on economic themes.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency
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