The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Syria: Windows on a wider world

Syria’s commitment to the development of export-oriented sectors and new trade ties is paying off, with new incentives for domestic and foreign investors in place. Privatization, though, is not part of the package and the government is pledged to retain a mixed economy.

A more open attitude to international trade is an increasingly important element of Syria's economic strategy. The most obvious proof has been its commitment to participation in the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Project originally drawn up in Barcelona in 1995. In theory, this will open up a market of some 700 million consumers to Syrian exports. The downside is that it could open up Syria's domestic market to a flood of imports that have traditionally been strictly controlled or subject to prohibitive import tariffs.


Syrian officials and businessmen are keenly aware that at present most of its industrial output is hopelessly ill-suited to compete with goods manufactured in other markets on the EU's periphery that began economic integration years before Syria even contemplated reform. In that respect, such countries as Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia already have a formidable head start.


The good news is that Damascus has at least four elements on its side as it prepares for closer economic links with Europe. The first is time. It will be at least 10 years before the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area is anything like a level playing field. And 10 years is a long time even to put fairly ramshackle economic houses in order.



You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree