Syrian economist and opposition figure Samir Seifan says the Syrian reconstruction cannot be financed by money from abroad, but by Syrian money and efforts.
In a long interview with al-Iqtissad Website, Seifan said that honest and transparent Syrian efforts are required to attract funds for reconstruction from abroad. He said that without those guarantees, no money will be forthcoming for reconstruction.
"Yes, we need foreign investment for the reconstruction, but it cannot be all," he said.
Seifan said that if a political solution was achieved and all external intervention ceased, the authority for the reconstruction would be transferred to the Syrian people, and Syria would become a democratic, pluralistic system in which all Syrian people could participate.
Under those conditions, he said, the reconstruction process would proceed with a number of conditions, including "maintaining the unity of Syria with a political central authority and the establishment of a democratic system without exclusion, based on the idea of a modern state founded on the principles of citizenship and human rights."
He said the state would be founded on the need for "stability, security and safety of the Syrian people and freedom from any armed gangs working for their own material interests," as well as "an efficient and fair government free of corruption and bureaucracy."
Only then, Seifan told the Website, would non-Syrian investment be forthcoming "for the mutual benefit of both investors and Syrians.”
"Construction funds will come partly in the form of aid, but that will only form a small part. The rest will come in the form of investment, which is much better than debt, which is a trap and a snare that should be avoided,” he said.
Regarding rumors that Abdullah Dardari is a candidate of regional and western bodies, to fill the role of managing Syria’s reconstruction file, Seifan said that "the talk is much bigger than the truth."
"Dardari is fluent in marketing and promotion, but the ESCWA body he works for is unable to benefit Syria, since it is a U.N. organization that doesn't have any funds for investments. It does no more than issue useless reports and studies,” he said.