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» Economy


Syria’s most impressive recent development is in the economic realm, where petroleum and agricultural sectors account for approximately one-half of its GDP. The government has drawn an extensive plan to turn Syria’s once centrally-planned economy, to one based on open market principles.  The plan entails bringing down trade and financial barriers to liberalize specific sectors and allow for the entry of foreign and domestic private investment.  In order to ensure an equitable distribution of benefits reaped from such a process, the government is closely monitoring this process.  The plan ultimately aims at providing the economic growth an open market brings, while thwarting the economic disparity that is an inevitable by-product of such a process.

Some of the major sectors enjoying such success are the education, tourism, and financial sectors. Private schools and universities such as the Syrian-GermanUniversity, Universityof Kalamoon, ChoueifatSchool, and MontessoriSchool, have mushroomed in Syriapresenting the Syrian public with a diverse choice of internationally-acclaimed academic institutions.  Syria’s diverse topography, Mediterranean beaches, and plethora of archaeological sites have attracted an influx of foreign investment into the tourism sector, while the untapped human and economic potential have attracted investors into the financial sector, resulting in the opening of several private banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.

Such growth would not be conceivable without a parallel process of up-rooting corruption, minimizing bureaucracy, and an overall upheaval of governmental mechanisms.  While the process is at its infant stages, it is on a steady track towards maturing in order to facilitate further investments and greater economic growth.



GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,700 (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

industry: 27.9%
services: 48.2% (2007 est.)


petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, car assembly

Industrial production growth rate:

2.5% (2008 est.)

Current account balance:

$908 million (2008 est.)


$11.14 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:

crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat

Exports - partners:

Iraq 29.8%, Lebanon 9.9%, Germany 9.6%, Italy 8%, Egypt 5.5%, Saudi Arabia 5.2%, France 4.9% (2007)


$10.5 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper

Imports - partners:

Saudi Arabia 12.1%, China 8.9%, Egypt 6.3%, Italy 6.1%, United Arab Emirates 6%, Ukraine 4.9%, Germany 4.7%, Iran 4.4% (2008)



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Českomalinská 7/20
160 00 Praha 6
Czech Republic

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