Investment in Northern Syria as a Turkish Interest

The investment conference aligns with the Turkish government's narrative of fostering a sustainable development environment in northern Syria, according to al-Tareek.

You can peruse numerous proposals presenting actionable visions to transform northern Aleppo into an industrial zone with distinctive specifications. The conference, scheduled for January 17th and 18th, will delve into research papers discussing this initiative.

From a temporal perspective, this investment conference aligns with the Turkish government’s narrative of fostering a sustainable development environment in northern Syria. Regarding location, the choice of al-Ra’i, an industrial city in the countryside of Aleppo, underscores the organizers’ intention to spotlight Turkey’s experience in establishing five industrial zones in the region. Despite facing challenges related to the volatile security and political climate, this experience has not achieved the anticipated success.

The involvement of the Syrian Interim Government, supported by Ankara, signifies Turkey’s active role. The participation of the 2020 IDEA Foundation also suggests relative European support for such projects, aiming to encourage Syrians to stay in their homeland and reduce migration to the European Union.

First Investment Conference Kicks Off in Northern Syria

While Turkish and European interests are evident in the success of these projects in northwestern Syria, the support provided falls short of the required amount. However, creative solutions are feasible, requiring a degree of protection and care without relying on “international care” in the foreseeable future. In this context, we refer to a study published by the website “Economy, Finance, and Business of Syrians” three years ago, authored by Mamoun Sayed Issa, then the vice president of the “political body” in Idleb governorate. The study outlines an implementable development plan for northwestern Syria (north of Aleppo and Idleb) before the final political solution in Syria.

A prominent idea from the study is establishing a free service-industrial zone at border crossings with Turkey. The study envisions securing the area, considering current circumstances, by locating it at the sanctuary of one of the border crossings with Turkey to safeguard it from Russian or “Assad” targeting. Administrative and geographical isolation from the neighbourhood is proposed, with restricted access to those holding special work permits, investors, and industrialists to minimize security risks. The study suggests commencing the zone’s establishment at one of the northern countryside crossings of Aleppo with Turkey before expanding to Idleb (Bab al-Hawa) if suitable conditions arise.

The study also highlights the potential for numerous industries catering to Turkish investors, leveraging labor licenses in northern Syria as an attraction for foreign investment. Additionally, Turkish ports near the border can facilitate the export of manufactured products, and EU financing is identified as a viable option.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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