Briefing on Business Opportunities in Syria

Briefing on Business Opportunities in Syria
with Emphasis on the European-Syrian Association Agreement

The idea of this briefing was tempted by Mr.Nick Kuenssberg the Scottish Networks International Chairman during our discussion about business opportunities in Syria.

Recent economic developments the Syrian economic regulation makes it worthy to create \ enhance the presence in Syria and be closer to the proposed 4 billion euro – the rehabilitation and modernization program’s cost which will executed mainly by international companies.

Moreover, Syria is almost to sign an Association Agreement with Europe, thus and as a related steps, the European Union is funding 10 million euro as a part of the transitional agenda in the coming two years, and it has committed to another 70 million euro over the coming five years.

Most of the available and potential business opportunities attach the area of Business advisory, Banking, financial services, project management, IT and other infrastructure projects.

I am keen to devote my proven experience to the interested companies, and to share them their steps toward more success.

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Revealing my Glasgow Experience

Bassel Nadim studied an MPhil in Monetary Economics and Finance at the University of Glasgow between 2001 and 2002. Here he tells of his experiences in the city, and how the Chevening scholarship will help him in his future career in economics.

Just last year I was counting down the days left to be in the UK. I dreamed, imagined, got excited, planned ahead, but the something I did not think about is how gorgeous my experience here would be, indeed, it was more than what I have expected. Glasgow is a cosmopolitan city, it combines heritage with modernization, culture with business, nature with civilization, change with variety, and maybe more importantly, people with people. Glasgow surrounded me with a unique feeling of warm and friendship. I have never felt myself a stranger.

Social life in Scotland is second to none, both Glasgow University International Student Scheme and Host UK programme opened a chance for me to make further contacts with local Scottish families. I still remember with gratitude the hospitality I got by the Glaswegian families, and the nice Christmas days I spent in Inverness. I enjoyed delicious meals, understood Scottish life and introduced some awareness on the oriental culture.

Equally important were the two chances provided by the British Council in Glasgow and the Rotary Club in the area, it was extremely useful for me and other scholars to get the hang of people's points of view, discuss global issues, and mutually communicate with the area's MP. How could I forget the great weekend hosted by the Rotary Club in Girvan on the Irish Sea, or the spectacular Lochs and the Highlands.

Cutting-edge research in Scotland
Back to the University life. Despite the desirable academic pressure, it was extremely comprehensive. Glasgow University is one of the best ever - the 550 year-old university manifested itself not only on the splendid ancient architecture, but also on the knowledge accumulation my university contributed in, which started even before Adam Smith and James Watt. And while it has not been finished, it is at the cutting edge IT research and e-intelligence implementation. However, the university is still committing itself for further outstanding research and education. It generated almost £250m recently, and placed 17,000 full-time students.

Consider, for instance, my department -The Centre of Development Studies - that attracts distinguished academic staff and speakers to teach high quality courses adopted for developing and transitional countries. It is a sign of excellence that my course is tailored for monetary and finance issues in developing countries where only proven economists are able to approach. Furthermore, in the closed city, Edinburgh, the Roslin Institute cloned Dolly the sheep, the most argumentative scientific achievement in contemporary history.

On the professional side, the Scottish Executive, the devolved Scottish government, throughout its bodies and schemes, organised a score of business-oriented events. I contributed more than once in their activities and grasped practical benefits.

Certainly, the knowledge and skills I gained will positively affect my performance, providing further economic advice and conducting more sophisticated consultancy assignments at higher levels and according to international codes. I hope I can create further improvement in the Syrian economy and enhance its steps towards partnership with the EU.

Finally, I would to thank friends, the university staff, the Scottish Executive, and the British Council in Syria and United Kingdom for their support, encouragement and care.

Bassel Nadim

The British Foreign Policy Forum

The British Foreign Policy Forum, Glasgow

Chevening scholars in Glasgow participated in the Community Discussion on the British Foreign Policy hosted by Dr. Denis MacShane MP, Foreign Office Minister, at St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life Art, in Glasgow, on 8th July 2002.The forum was transparent, responsible and fruitful. Mutual communications took place on a variety of issues such as: British business overseas, tourism activities, relations with Europe and USA, poverty, NGO's, charities, political and social conflicts around the world, UK's role maintaining peace and human rights. Foreign Policy, as Dr. MacShane referred, is the heart of what British nation does do".

Serious and important discussion was debated within the community. Chevening scholars contributed effectively and demonstrated their perception about the contemporary British foreign policy, with attempts to visualise its future.

Dr. MacShane warmly welcomed the scholars and encouraged them to express their ideas and he was proud that such friends for the UK had been gained for life.

A big 'thank-you' for both the Lord Provost's Office and the British Council in Glasgow for facilitating this opportunity. Furthermore, I extend gratitude to the Foreign Office's team who made that event successful.

Bassel Nadim

British Chevening Scholar

في غرفتي... ذبابة

في غرفتي.... ذبابة
كان ذاك الصباح في مدينتي رائعاً، انساب الهواء من النافذة المفتوحة رقراقاً على وجهي كما نفحات الرحمة، و تواصل
الى مسامعي أصوات إذاعة مونت كارلو، كان ذلك كافياً بأن يأسرني بلطف لامتناهي و و لأن يجول داخلي هائماً بين ذكريات و صور غير واضحة المعالم تضفي شعوراً فريداً من اللذة ، الخلاص والتآحد مع المطلق!!!.

في تلك اللحظات السحرية....حطت على وجهي.... كش... ، كش!!!! التقطت بقايا حواسي و التي لم يأسرها التآحد بعد - الكلمة ، فتحت عيني على عجل ... نعم إنها ذبابة .... ذبابة!! ... ذبابة بريطانية ... أول ذبابة أراها منذ زمن، فتحت الستائر و أغلقت النافذة و رحت أطاردها في الغرفة... فرحت بها كما لم يفرح طفل بدميته.. استأنست بوجودها و كأنها حمامة سلام!! قررت ان أجلب لها بعض الطعام بعد أن اتعبتها نظافة هذه المدنية!!

بعد هنة، عاد لي رشدي... سائلت نفسي لماذا ظهرت هذه الذبابة اليوم؟ ما الذي تمثله هذه الذبابة؟ ما المدلول التي تحاول جلبه لي؟ هل له علاقة بالحرب ضد الإرهاب؟ أم في مجازر فلسطين؟ هل هي هنا لتقول لي أننا نحن أمة العرب أضحينا كالذباب !!!؟؟ إذاً : تباً لك أيتها الذبابة، نعم تباً لك. و قررت فعسها...بيد أن قفزاتها الرشيقة من بقايا قطعة الكيك على الطاولة ، إلى جواربي الملحوشة على الأرض، إلى مفكرتي الرقمية حالت دون ذلك...

لاحق نظري الذبابة ، آه ... ما أنت إلا ذبابة ... من أين لك كل هذه المدلولات المهمة، حسناً لا مكان للذباب في غرفتي ... عليك الخروج الآن .... فتحت النافذة من جديد و رددت أغنيتي القديمة الإنذارية الشهيرة:

سأقتل كل ذبابة أراها هنا..... سأقتل كل ذبابة أراها هنا...
بعد دقائق ، و على هامش تحليلات وصول باول الى المغرب ... قررت الذبابة الخروج من النافذة المشرعة للشمس

تخريف: باسل نديم
بريطانيا 8 نيسان 2002

My Speech at the Rutherglen Rotary Club in Scotland

My Speech at the Rutherglen Rotary Club in Scotland
I did this speech at the Rutherglen Rotary Club in Scotland in the occasion of the annual meeting with the international students. It is a habit of the Club to name a President for that night only, who was myself.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Evening,

I would like first to introduce myself, my name is Bassel Nadim from Syria , Damascus. I am carrying out my master degree in economics at Glasgow University, I used to work as an economist for a regional consultancy firm back home in Syria.

It was a great pleasure to speak in behalf of my colleagues at the British Chevening Scholarship Scheme in Scotland . Meanwhile I have gained the hounor to be named as a President for Rutherglen Rotary Club for this event.

Indeed, such occasions provide a mutually beneficial vehicle for people to get the hang of other’s points of view, this will accelerate cultural communication and provoke knowledge accumulation, thus proper understanding will be created, and fruitful business relations will be taken place.

We as Chevening scholars do appreciate the efforts done by your Club to abolish poverty and social conflict around the world, we condemn all types of violent against civilians in Northern Ireland, America, Afghanistan, Iraq, West Bank, and Israel, it should be Justice not Revenge as Glasgow City Council announced in more than a time.

Finally, deep gratitude for both the British Council and the Rutherglen Rotary Club
For their efforts to achieve prosperity for Scotland, United Kingdom and the world.

Enjoy your night.

Bassel Nadim