Muhammad al-Hallaq, a member of the Damascus Chamber of Commerce, said that, “a number of merchants are offering up their commercial stores for investment in vital areas such as Hamidiya, Souq Madhat Pasha, Shaalan, and others. Something that has been unheard of for a long time.”
Hallaq told Al-Watan that this “unprecedented” situation is occurring due to the weakness and decline of commercial work, and the lack of any feasible returns amid decreased demand from citizens under current conditions, as well as the difficult environment for business and legislation.
He did not reveal the exact numbers of commercial shops offered up for investment, but he did mention that in Souq Madhat there were not an inconsequential number of shops that had closed their doors and were offered for investment. In Shaalan, there are around five shops that were offered for investment. Even in Hamdiya, where people were paying large sums for investment, a number of stores had offered to invest, as there are no returns encouraging people to invest yet again.
Hallaq explained on Wednesday that the high prices of rent for real estate, as well the slow pace of business and weak working conditions, have led many people to feel reluctant to invest. This is a mistake, he said, as today it is necessary to encourage investment, and work through a comfortable business environment and clear-cut legislation. He indicated that the work environment now is unclear.
According to Hallaq, there are major efforts by the government to improve the business environment, but on the ground these efforts have not been translated into real terms. There is no real cooperation between all the sides.
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.