Last modified on 16 April 2014, at 06:13

Development Cooperation Handbook/Stories/BESP

MDG8: Develop a global partnership

OTVbelweder-front.jpgPlaylist on Youtube

Script.pngSyria 6 – Training Syrian journalists
Smiling Camera.pngMDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development


Simplifying Business
Project implemented by the Syrian Enterprise and Business Centre
Damascus, Syria, November 2010
Co-financed by the European Union


Syria (orthographic projection).svg

In Syria now, it is a time of division, violence and suffering. When we were there in November 2010 and in August 2011, we recorded many stories of cooperation and development. Nowadays, only sad and violent stories are narrated about this wonderful country. What then shall we do with these stories we collected in Syria in what now seems to be a different "age" altogether? Well, we decided to re-edit the videos we had made, include them in the Handbook we are developing and share them through the Internet. These videos will help us remember what Syria was before the civil war. And we hope that these stories will help restore trust amongst communities in Syria, and build, amongst those who love this country, the motivation to do whatever they can to restore peace and cooperation.


The Business Environment Simplification Programme, or BESP in short, was a component of a vast cooperation program between the European Union and Syria aimed at expanding mutual trade. It also included social development, policy modernization and the protection of cultural heritage. In 2012, the European Union suspended cooperation activities with the Syrian Government; but the projects with Syrian civil society are continuing.


The objective of BESP was to contribute to the Syrian economic reform programme through modernisation and simplification of the business environment. The project was contributing to improving market competition policies, reducing red-tapism and promoting transparent and fair practices for the Syrian business community. It received vast support from enterprises and law makers; but it was also opposed by some sectors of the population who were afraid of unregulated social changes.

Throughout the program, special attention was given to supporting women to enter emerging professional fields like journalism, management, social communication.

The "Quality and Standards Programme" was a separate component of BESP that was specifically aimed at improving quality infrastructure in Syria and upgrading the competitive quality of Syrian products for international markets. The activities of this initiative included awareness building among Syrian public institutions and the establishment of a Consumer Protection Association (CPA) as contact points for consumer rights associations and as a platform for the participation of civil society in the modernisation process of economic policies in Syria.

Another important component of BESP was the SKILLS professional training programme that aimed at reducing the gap between formal education in Syria and the actual requirements of the job market.


Video clipsEdit

Film-Camera.png On YouTube ⇒ BESP - playlist
Film-Camera.png On YouTube ⇒ SKILLS - Training Young Syrian Journalists - playlist

Related StoriesEdit

Clannad After Story Episode Icon.pngSKILLS - Training Young Syrian Journalists

TestimonialsEdit

Douglas Aitkenhead - Introduces BESP and explains the beneficies for EU and Syria
Douglas Aitkenhead - The objectives of BESP





The President of the Syrian Authority for the Business Competition - interview on BESP

Additional information about the projectEdit

Flag of Europe.svg EU documents: