Hazem Ajjan, director of the industrial city in Sheikh Najjar in northern Syria, called Saturday on Syrian expatriates to invest in the industrial city in Aleppo.
He stressed that all the encouraging factors for production have improved, especially the availability of a 24-hour electricity supply.
Speaking at the Expatriates Forum held in Khan al-Harir market in the old city of Aleppo, Ajjan said 810 establishments have already started operation. Half of the firms are funded by expatriates.
In a statement to the official Tishreen newspaper, Ajjan noted that the administration of the industrial city in Sheikh Najjar, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, is working seriously and vigorously for the return of industrialists who were forced during the war to move their factories and work to other countries.
Fares al-Shihabi, the head of the Aleppo Chamber of Industry, called on Syrian industrialists abroad to return to Syria, where they could restore and rehabilitate their factories. He stressed basic elements, such as energy, electricity and water, are available to run the facilities.
Al-Shihabi then confirmed that the industrial sector is gradually improving.
The electricity supply in Aleppo improved remarkably after President Bashar Assad made this month his first visit to the northern city since his forces recaptured it in 2016.
He reopened a thermal power plant that is expected to generate 200 megawatts of electricity.
However, with power returning to Aleppo, owners of generators have expanded towards other provinces, such as Latakia, Hama, Homs and Damascus, where they are now allowed to invest after previously being barred.
Sources said this is a sign that the electricity crisis in Syria is nowhere close to being resolved.
A solution was only found in Aleppo, which will rely on thermal power from Iran that had preempted Assad’s visit by repairing the plant, giving the impression that it controls the electrical sector and not the regime.
Indeed, the Iranian Cultural Chancellery in Damascus said in a statement that an Iranian company had repaired the station.
Responding to calls for investors to return to Aleppo, sources said electricity is one of a number of complex problems hindering investment, among them is loss of trust in the regime and its officials that have destroyed the industrial and agriculture sectors.
Moreover, the security and military forces have imposed their authority over industrialists and merchants, set up checkpoints across cities and forced them to may tariffs.
They also cited the unjust tax policies and the tight measures imposed on the movement of funds, the banning of the use of foreign currency, in addition to the high cost of transporting and shipping goods due to the fuel crisis.