With all the shaky news coming from the North Africa and the Middle East in general, a bit of positive real estate news arrives from Syria. The government there has plans to invite investors to build as many as 118,000 homes valued at over $8.4 billion this year.
The Real Estate Development and Investment Commission, an industry regulatory arm there, is reported to be finalizing tender books for 12 projects which will be a major boost for the country's economy. General Manager Yasser al-Sibai had this to say about the projects:
“We invite more investors to establish companies in Syria and participate in the tendering process, which will be announced in some two months. Newly established companies are advised to merge in order to meet our development plans.”
The first private developer ever granted a license by the commissions was last year, and since then some 24 companies have set up shop in Syria. Before 2010, most of the real estate projects were run by state owned entities.
The need for new housing units inside Syria is actually quite drastic. Over half a million are projected before 2015, according to the reports. There is room for business in all the channels from venture capital flow down to jobs created for workers inside the country. So far foreign investment in Syria has been modest, at or about 35 percent.
With these official calls for developers and investment, this number can only be expected to increase substantially. Still, the trouble in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other Arab nations can effect this as well.
And too, initiatives like this one indicate an overall bending of policy toward more free markets. Syria has not exactly been known for forward thinking, but these announcements make it fairly clear the winds of change are having an effect. The Syrian cabinet has been busy of late mending fences and reaching out to other states like Turkey.
And, Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Otri just affirmed last week the necessity to shore up the development process. Bashar al-Assad's government clearly wants to move forward.
Original Source: Bloomberg