Syria wrapped up a national economic dialogue Tuesday, with hundreds of representatives offering a number of suggestions to solve problems and push forward reforms in the country's economy.
The three-day National Forum for Economic Dialogue, which was attended by some 300 figures representing all spectra of the Syrian society, came up with suggestions such as fighting the rampant corruption in some state departments and developing industrial and agricultural projects to generate job opportunities.
"The most important thing about this dialogue is that it was democratic... All thoughts were discussed freely and we have addressed some issues that we didn't address before," Riyad Al Dawoudi, chairman of the State Planning Commission, said at the closing session.
The dialogue, kicked off Sunday in Syria's capital of Damascus, aimed to enhance discussions on national issues on the basis of partnership and collective responsibility and to crystallize a common vision for economic and social reforms.
"The social safety nets in Syria should be activated and motivated in order to deal with different issues such as unemployment and aging-related matters," Dawoudi said.
Speaking at the opening session of the dialogue on Sunday, Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar said the government was determined to go on with reforms, but warned against the danger of foreign challenges aiming at "undermining (Syrian) economic bases. "
The economic reform, as an integral part of the country's overall process of reforms, is "a genuine response to the national demands and internal requirements to achieve a solid and diversified economy capable of competing, ensuring new jobs, and increasing living conditions," Safar said.
The prime minister said that Syria has been gradually transforming towards social market economy in the framework of the partnership concept between the public and private sectors.
The government tends to liberate the economy from all burdens and shackles, Safar said, acknowledging that the process of reforms faces "legal, administrative and social difficulties."
He, however, stressed that the government is determined to handle and has almost overcome all difficulties.
"The biggest danger the process of reforms is facing is the foreign challenges," he said, noting that the current unrest in Syria is dramatically eroding the government's efforts for reforms.
The nearly seven months of crisis in Syria has brought life to a standstill as revenue from tourism, worker remittance and foreign investment plunged sharply since the beginning of unrest.
Syrian government has faced mounting international pressure, including economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, for its response to protesters.