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					Country risk analysis of Syria
           Mahmoud Ballo July 2007
   Supervised by: Prof. Michel Henry Bouchet
                 AGENDA
   Overview
   Political Analysis
   Macroeconomic Analysis
   Economy Analysis
   BOP Analysis
   Risk Analysis
   Strengths and weaknesses
    AGENDA



A brief overview
Location of Syria
Political Map
                        Overview
 Location: Syria is bounded by the Mediterranean and Lebanon on
  the west, by Israel and Jordan on the south, by Iraq on the east and
  by Turkey on the north. The frontier between Syria and Turkey was
  settled by the Franco-Turkish agreement of 22 June 1929.
 Area: Syria has an area of 185,180 sq km (71,498 sq mi). 185,180
  sq km, Comparatively, the area occupied by Syria is slightly larger
  than the state of North Dakota. Included in this total is the Golan
  Heights region (1,176 sq km/454 sq mi), which Israel captured in
  1967 and annexed on 14 December 1981; the annexation was
  denounced by Syria and unanimously condemned by the UN
  Security Council.
 Land boundaries: total: 2,253 km.
 Border countries: Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km,
  Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km.
 Capital: Damascus.
                       Overview
 Language: Syrian Arabic is the official language, spoken by 89% of
   the population, while 6% speak Kurdish, 3% Armenian and 2% other
   language. English and French are spoken in business circles.
 Ethnic Syrians are of Caucasian Semitic stock.
 Religion: The overwhelming majority of the Syrian population is
   Sunni Muslim. Other Muslims include Ismailia, Shiites, and Alewives
  (a schism of the Shiite branch).
 The non-Muslims in Syria, most are Christians, primarily Greek and
   Armenian Orthodox. Religious minorities include Druze, who follow
   a religion related to Islam, and a community of approximately 1000
   Jews. 65% Sunni Muslim, 17% Christians (mostly Orthodox and
   Greek Catholic) and 18% other minority groups including Jews and
   Druzes.
 Natural resources: Crude oil and natural gas, phosphates, asphalt,
   rock salt, marble, gypsum, iron ore, chrome, and manganese ores.
                        Overview
 Agriculture: Products--cotton, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruits and
  vegetables. Arable land--32%.
 Industry: Types--mining, manufacturing (textiles, food processing),
  construction, petroleum.
 Natural hazards: Earthquake in the north and sandstorms.
 Largest city: Damascus.
 Population: The population of Syria (2007 estimate) is 19 millions,
  giving the country an overall population density of 91 persons per sq
  km (230 per sq mi).
 The largest non-Syrian minorities are Kurds, most of whom are
  pastoral people concentrated along the Turkish border, and
  Armenians, who dwell chiefly in the larger cities. The Syrian Desert
  is the most sparsely populated part of Syria. The most densely
  settled area of the country is in the west.
 Membership: Syria is a member of the UN and Arab League and
  Organization of the Islamic Conference.
                       Overview
 Syria Time Difference: GMT + 2.
 Age structure:
        0-14 years: 37.4% (male 3,556,795; female 3,350,799)
        15-64 years: 59.3% (male 5,601,971; female 5,333,022)
        65 years and over: 3.3% (male 288,868; female 317,052)
 Population: Growth rate: 2.3% .
 Birth rate: 28.29 births/1,000 population (2007 est.).
 Death rate: 4.88 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.).
 Life expectancy at birth:
         total population: 71.03 years
         male: 68.75 years
         female: 71.38 years (2007 est.)
                         Overview
 Currency: The basic unit of currency is the Syrian Lira, divided into
  100 piasters. Syrian banking was controlled by foreign companies.
 Until 1956 currency was issued by the largest commercial bank in
  Syria, the French-owned Banque de Syrie et du Liban.
 In that year the Syrian government established a new, state-owned
  bank, the Central Bank of Syria, and authorized it to issue the
  national currency.
 Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
             total population: 79.8%
             male: 86.0%
             female: 73.6% (2007 est.)
             Environment Issues
 Major environmental issues in Syria include deforestation,
  overgrazing, soil erosion, desertification, water pollution from the
  dumping of raw sewage and wastes from petroleum refining, and
  inadequate supplies of potable water.
 Water shortages, exacerbated by population growth, industrial
  expansion, and water pollution, are a significant long-term constraint
  on economic development.

 Dust storms and sandstorms are natural hazards in desert areas.
             History/Background
 Archaeologists have demonstrated that Syria was the centre of one
  of the most ancient civilizations on earth.
 Around the excavated city of Ebla in northern Syria, discovered in
  1975, a great Semitic empire spread from the Red Sea north to
  Turkey and east to Mesopotamia from 2500 to 2400 B.C.
 The city of Ebla alone during that time had a population estimated at
  260,000. Scholars believe the language of Ebla to be the oldest
  Semitic language.
 Syria was occupied successively by Canaanites, Phoenicians,
  Hebrews, Arameans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks,
  Romans, Nabataeans, Byzantines, and, in part, Crusaders before
  finally coming under the control of the Ottoman Turks.
 Syria is significant in the history of Christianity; Paul was converted
  on the road to Damascus and established the first organized
  Christian Church at Antioch in ancient Syria, from which he left on
  many of his missionary journeys.
             History/Background
 Damascus, settled about 2500 B.C., is one of the oldest
  continuously inhabited cities in the world. It came under Muslim rule
  in A.D. 636.
 Immediately thereafter, the city's power and prestige reached its
  peak, and it became the capital of the Omayyad Empire, which
  extended from Spain to India from A.D. 661 to A.D. 750.
 Damascus became a provincial capital of the Mameluke Empire
  around 1260. It was largely destroyed in 1400 by Tamerlane, the
  Mongol conqueror, who removed many of its craftsmen to
  Samarkand. Rebuilt, it continued to serve as a capital until 1516.
 In 1517, it fell under Ottoman rule. The Ottomans remained for the
  next 400 years, except for a brief occupation by Ibrahim Pasha of
  Egypt from 1832 to 1840.
             History/Background
 French Occupation: In 1920, an independent Arab Kingdom of Syria
  was established under King Faysal of the Hashemite family,
  Following the clash between his Syrian Arab forces and regular
  French forces at the battle of Maysalun.

 French troops occupied Syria later that year after the League of
  Nations put Syria under French mandate.

 With the fall of France in 1940, Syria came under the control of the
  Vichy Government until the British and Free French occupied the
  country in July 1941.
    AGENDA




Political Analysis
                        Overview
 Conventional name: Syria republic.

 Government type: republic under an authoritarian military-dominated
  regime.

 Constitution:13 March 1973 .

 Executive Branch: chief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD (since
  17 July 2000); Vice President Farouk al-SHARA (since 11 February
  2006) oversees foreign policy; Vice President Najah al-ATTAR
  (since 23 March 2006) oversees cultural policy.

 Head of government: Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-UTRI (since
  10 September 2003); Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs
  Abdullah al-DARDARI (since 14 June 2005).
                         Overview
 Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president.
 Elections: president approved by popular referendum for a second
  seven-year term (no term limits); referendum last held on 27 May
  2007 (next to be held in May 2014); the president appoints the vice
  presidents, prime minister, and deputy prime ministers.
 Election results: Bashar al-ASAD approved as president; percent of
  vote Bashar al-ASAD 97.6%.
 Legislative branch: Definition Field Listing
  - unicameral People's Council or Majlis al-Shaab (250 seats;
  members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
  - elections: last held on 22-23 April 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
  - election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party – NA.
                         Overview
  Political parties and leaders:

 legal parties: National Progressive Front or NPF [President Bashar
  al-ASAD, (includes Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'th) Party .

 Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'th) Party [President al-ASAD];
  Socialist Unionist Democratic Party [Syrian Arab Socialist Union or
  ASU Syrian Communist Party (two branches) .

 Syrian Social Nationalist Party; Unionist Socialist Party [Fayez
  ISMAIL]); illegal parties: Kurdish Azadi Party Kurdish Democratic
  Alliance (includes four parties); Kurdish Democratic Front.
                        Overview
  Political pressure groups and leaders:
 Damascus Declaration (a broad alliance of opposition groups
  including: Committee for Revival of Civil Society [Michel KILO, Riyad
  SEIF]; Kurdish Democratic Alliance; Kurdish Democratic Front;
  National Democratic Front.

 Syrian Human Rights Society or HRAS); National Salvation Front
  (alliance between former Vice President.

 The SMB, and other small opposition groups); Syrian Muslim
  Brotherhood or SMB; (operates in exile in London; endorsed the
  Damascus Declaration but is not an official member).
      Results of last presidential
          elections in 2007
 President Assad reelected for second term in office Posted:
  05/30/2007

 According to results released by the Interior Ministry on May 30,
  President Bashar al-ASSAD was reelected for a new seven-year
  term in a referendum in which more than 95 percent of the eligible
  voters turned out to the polling booths.

 President ASSAD was the sole presidential nominee selected by the
  parliament and obtained 97.6 percent of the vote in the referendum.

 There were no other candidates allowed to compete with the
  president’s election.
  Freedom House Ratings 2007
       (1 represents the most free and 7 the least free rating)

 Civil society: 7 / The government tightens control over civil society
  through laws, formal and informal pressure, and increased funding
  by the state or agencies controlled by the state .

 Independent Media: 7 / Almost all opposition newspapers are closed
  or fully controled by the military state.print media and the Internet
  are controlled pervasively, there is widespread disinformation
  campaign against opposition.

 Judicial Framework: 6 / The country's executive system is based on
  presidential patronage, the judiciary, like the legislative branch, has
  remained loyal to the regime. It has served to protect the interests of
  the state and its functionaries rather than those of individuals,
  minorities etc.

 Electoral process: 7 / Pro-regime financial interests and political
  parties control the Parliament, which does have a single opposition
  or independent deputy inside the country .
  Freedom House Ratings 2007
        (1 represents the most free and 7 the least free rating)

 Corruption: 6.5 / Governance and economic conditions helped to
  control corruption at lower and middle levels of bureaucracy, but the
  virtual absence of an independent judiciary and media mean that it
  is impossible to proof corruption at the top level of the ruling elite.


 Overall Freedom House Rating:
            Political Rights: 6
            Civil Liberties: 5
            Status: Not Free
                               Prince Model
decision-making
 Importance in




                                                        The Ba‘th party


                                                         The president‘s
                                                              Army
                                      France
                                                                           Public sector
                   Russia
                            World Bank         USA
                                                                     Corruption
                                                              in administraion & judiciary
                  Private companies

                                                War in Iraq                    Israel




      Positve Influence                         Negative Influence
                  Political Analysis
 Officially, Syria is a republic. In reality, however, it is an authoritarian
  regime that exhibits only the forms of a democratic system. Although
  citizens ostensibly vote for the President and members of
  Parliament, they do not have the right to change their government.

 Previous President Hafiz Al-Asad was confirmed by unopposed
  referenda five times. His son, Bashar Al-Asad, also was confirmed
  by an unopposed referendum since July 2000 President and his
  senior aides, particularly those in the military and security services,
  ultimately make most basic decisions in political and economic life.

 After the independence a phase in which media freedom, civic and
  democratic activism begun which was dispersed on 1995 when the
  president adopted a new constitution that increased the power of the
  presidency dramatically.
                 Political analysis
 Syria has been under a state of emergency since 1963. Syrian
  governments have justified martial law by the state of war, which
  continues to exist with Israel and by continuing threats posed by
  terrorist groups.

 The political system is open to considerable financial and business
  interests/investors that are loyal to the president but closed to
  independent financial and political interests that follow alternative
  ideologies.

 The Asad regime (little has changed since Bashar Al-Asad
  succeeded his father) has held power longer than any other Syrian
  government since independence; its survival is due partly to a strong
  desire for stability and the regime's success in giving groups.

 The expansion of the government bureaucracy has also created a
  large class loyal to the regime.

 All three branches of government are guided by the views of the
  Ba'ath Party, whose primacy in state institutions is assured by the
  constitution.
                Political analysis
 Nine smaller political parties are permitted to exist and, along with
  the Ba'ath Party, make up the National Progressive Front (NPF).

 The Ba'ath Party dominates the parliament, which is known as the
  People's Council. With members elected every 4 years.

 There was a surge of interest in political reform after Bashar al-Asad
  assumed power in 2000.

 Human rights activists and other civil society advocates, as well as
  some parliamentarians, became more outspoken during a certain
  period.

 The 2001 arrest and long-term detention of the two reformist
  parliamentarians and the apparent marginalizing of some of the
  reformist advisors in the past five years, indicate that the pace of
  any political reform in Syria is slow.

 A crackdown on civil society in 2005, in the wake of Syria's
  withdrawal from Lebanon.
    AGENDA



Economy Analysis
        Syria economic structure
The Syrian financial sector consists of the following institutions:
   The Central Bank of Syria (CB).
   Six specialized public banks.
   Nine functioning private banks.
   2 private banks started before the end of 2005.
   The Syrian Insurance Company (SIC).
   The Public Debt Fund (PDF).
   The Establishment of Social Security (ESS).
   The pension funds of professional trade unions.
 The Main Characteristics of the
             Syrian
      Financial Sector are:
 High proportion of cash money in circulation.

 In spite of the existing control system over foreign currency, 80% of
  imports used to be done through unlicensed currency exchange
  dealers.

 Interest rates not sensitive to inflation or exchange rates.

 While the public banks and CBS have benefited from the technical
  assistances of several donors, this has not been done through a
  comprehensive reform program.
 The structure of the liabilities of the Syrian banking sector indicates
  a high percentage of demand deposits compared to total deposits
  and a high percentage of unclassified debts.

 Foreign currency assets constitute more than 50% of total assets in
  the public sector banks and high proportion of credits are granted to
  the public sector.

 The government finances the deficit through loans from the public
  banks, creating pressures on the financial resources available for
  the private sector.
              Economic overview
 The Syrian economy is characterised by its centralised nature as the
  syrian government plays a large role in planning and running the
  economy.

 However the biggest income generator for the syrian economy is the
  oil sector providing approximatly 75% of exports receipts.

 Oil exports also provide the syrian government half of its revenues.

 Services industry and Argiculture Sector provide the Syrian
  government with the rest of its income in descending order.

 Syria is classed as lower middle-income economy by the World
  bank, due to challenges faces by the economy which undermine its
  Performance.

 Prices were liberalized, trade distortions reduced and SMEs
  privatized while the treasury and budget processes were
  substantially enhanced.
              Economic Overview
 Syria and Turkey built up a strong relations since the previous 5
  years. A free trade zone is opening between the 2 countries.

 Syria and Russia also signed an accord with Russia which aims to
  increase bilateral trade from current figures $250 million to $1 billion
  over the next 5 years.

 The long delayed Association Agreement with the EU is expected to
  be signed this year however this year.

 Furthermore the tourism sector is expected to play a major part in
  the future advancement of the Syrian economy. So Syrian
  government is developing its tourism infrastructure to encourage
  investors in the sector specially from Gulf countries.

 Water management is developing regarding the agricultural sector.
        Challenges of the Syrian
               economy
 Syria over reliance on oil is one of the main challenges faced by the
  Syrian economy, especially as the country’s current oil resourced
  are dwindling.

 Expectations say Syria wont become a net oil importer until
  2025,that means 50% of the revenues will just fall, unless new
  resources are found which will have a significant impact on the
  economy.

 Bureaucracy, patronage and corruption are also other major
  challenges which limit the growth of the Syrian economy.

 Syria was identified as the 73 rd most corrupt country in the world by
  transparency international organisations.

 Syria’s economy has also been classed as ‘’mostly unfree’’ to do
  business by the 2005 index economic freedom due to strong
  government control and intervention in areas such as property
  rights, capital flow and trade policy.
        Challenges of the Syrian
               economy
 The sanction placed by US affected Syrian economy, due to
  restrictions to Syrian exports to the US whilst placing an embargo on
  the sale of American goods and investment by their companies in
  Syria.

 The employment of many Syrian labours in Lebanon and their
  annual $2 billion remittances sent home have also been a major
  source of income for the Syrian economy.

 Impact of the aforementioned problems is compounded by the
  relatively high unemployment rate which currently stands at 20%
  whilst the labour force rate in Syria is growing by 5% a year.

 This is in addition to the country’s growing population growth rate of
  2.6% per year which places more pressure on Syria's dwindling
  economic and natural sources.
The main problems hindering the
development of financial sector:
 The absence of an accounting system in the public financial
  institutions able to provide accurate data that reflect the financial
  position of the financial institutions owned by the public sector.

 The interlacements between the financial institutions and the Public
  Debt Fund on the one hand, and between the PDF and the
  economic public sector on the other hand.

 The slowness of the institutional reform.

 The absences of a wide-based financial sector willing to take risk.
 The absence of an objective statistical system able to provide a real
  view of the performance of the national economy in general and the
  different institutions in particular.

 The financial statements of public financial institutions do not
  accurately reflect their financial status.

 The absence of a sovereign credit-related assessment of Syria.

 The absence of cooperation between the parties responsible of the
  management of the public debt; and the absence of periodic
  statistics about the public finances according to international
  standards.
       Macro-economy analysis
                2007
 Currency Code: Syrian Lira or (pound) (SYP)
  1 USD = 50 SYP
  1 EUR = 67 SYP
 Export partners : Iraq 26.3%, Italy 10%, Germany 9.9%, Lebanon
  9.1%, Egypt 5.1%, France 4.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%.
 Imports – partners: Saudi Arabia 11.6%, China 6.1%, Egypt 5.9%,
  Italy 5.8%, UAE 5.7%, Ukraine 4.6%, Germany 4.5%, Iran 4.2%.
 Current account balance :$529 million.
 GDP : $77.66 billion (PPP)
 GDP-per capita : $4,100 (PPP)
 GDP-real growth rate :4.5%
 GDP composition by sectors: agriculture: 24industry: 18%
 Services: 58%
 Unemployment rate: 7.5% .
 Population below poverty line:15-25%.
Average distribution of GDP
amongst sectors (1995-2007)
Merchandise exports % of GDP
          in Syria
Major Agricultural Crops share
     of Total Production
Labour Force Distribution on
Economic Sectors(1991-2007)
Exchange Market Indicators
Syria oil production (bbl/day)
Syria oil exports (bbl/day)
      GDP & Labor Force
     &composition by sector

60
                                         52,7
                                                50
50
                          41,1
40
                                 30
30
               20
20

10       6,3

 0
      Agriculture     Industry          Services

                    GDP    Employment
Inflation rate
Exchange rate of US$ against
        SYP (2007)


        54
        52
        50
        48
  SYP
        46
        44
        42
        40
          90

                 92

                        94

                               96

                                      98

                                             00

                                                    02

                                                           04

                                                                  06
        19

               19

                      19

                             19

                                    19

                                           20

                                                  20

                                                         20

                                                                20
REER of countries whose price
    competitiveness has
  deteriorated compared to
    Syria’s(2006=100) 2/
           Real GDP Growth Rate%

                       Real GDP Growth (% change YOY):

10,0%
8,0%
6,0%
4,0%
2,0%
0,0%
-2,0%   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005    2006   2007

-4,0%
-6,0%

                        Real GDP Growth (% change YOY):
         FOREIGN TRADE IN SYP


600000

500000

400000

300000

200000

100000

    0
          2001   2002   2003    2004      2005   2006   2007

                        Trade Balance SYP(mn)
                        Exports SYP(mn)
                        Imports SYP(mn)
Structure of net domestic product
        (constant prices)
Syria exports in US$
Syrian exports by products
       (1998 –2007)
Syrian imports by products
        (1998 –2007)
               Syria foreign trade
 Syria is quite open to international trade. Free-trade agreements
  have been signed with Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Iraq.

 Syria also signed an Association Agreement with the EU in October
  2004. The share of foreign trade in country’s GDP is nearly 70%. Its
  top three export partners are: Italy, France and Iraq. Syria mainly
  exports mineral fuels & oils, cotton, livestock, and cereals.

 Trade: Exports--$10.2 billion: petroleum, textiles, phosphates,
  antiquities, fruits and vegetables, cotton. Imports--$10.8 billion:
  foodstuffs, metal and metal products, machinery, textiles, petroleum.
       Government Budget (SP bn)

600
               Revenues
500            Expenditure
               Surplus/Deficit
400

300

200

100

  0
        2002        2003         2004   2005   2006   2007
-100

-200
Syria offcial reserves in US$
    Index of Economic Freedom
 World Rank 2007:       142
 Regional rank 2007:    15 of 17
 Economy Freedom 2007   48.2% free
World Bank Starting a Business
           (2007)



  Paying taxes:
             Doing Business in Syria
Ease of...               2006 rank   2005 rank   Change in rank
Doing Business             130         135            +5
Starting a Business        142         146            +4
Dealing with Licenses       87          92            +5
Employing Workers           89         103            +14

Registering Property        88          87             -1

Getting Credit             117         117             0
Protecting Investors       118         114             -4
Paying Taxes                59          59             0
Trading Across Borders     147         161            +14
Enforcing Contracts        153         153             0
Closing a Business          77          75             -2
  AGENDA




BOP Analysis
   Current Account Balance/GDP%

                 Current account Balance/GDP(%)


12.00%

10.00%

8.00%

6.00%

4.00%

2.00%

0.00%
         2001   2002   2003   2004    2005   2006   2007

                          Current account
                          Balance/GDP(%)
            Solvency ratio%

                External debt (percent of GDP) 2/


30.00%

25.00%

20.00%

15.00%

10.00%

5.00%

0.00%
         2001   2002   2003     2004     2005       2006   2007

                         External debt
                         (percent of GDP) 2/
Public Indebtedness
Debt service-to-exports ratio
(payments basis) in $ billions
           Debt service-to-exports ratio (payments basis)


25.00%


20.00%


15.00%


10.00%


5.00%


0.00%
         2001   2002    2003    2004    2005      2006      2007

                               Debt service-to-
                               exports ratio
                               (payments basis)
The Syrian external trade
relations - Imports (2007)
The Syrian external trade
relations - Exports (2007)
   AGENDA




Risk Analysis
Country Percentile rank between
other Arabic speaking countries
Country Percentile rank between
other Arabic speaking countries
                  Country Ratings
 COFACE,Fitch and Standard & poors couldn’t access any rating
  process in Syria yet,that is because mainly there is no stock
  exchange in the country yet, and there are no stocks or bonds
  offered to the international market.

 But hopefully in year 2008 Syria is intending to open the first stock
  exchanege in Damascus.
Corruption Perception Index 2007




Syria: Rank 142, CPI Score 3.4, Confidence range 2.7 - 4.1
  Human Development Index
Syria is ranked 107 out of 177 in the Human Development Index
Categories: High 0.8-1, Medium 0.5-0.8, Low 0-0.5




The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure
of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living
forcountries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well
being, especially child welfare.
Indicators of Market’s size
      Human development Index
 Life expectancy at birth: 71.5
 Adult literacy rate(% age 15 and above): 75.3
 Combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio(%):
  59
 GDP per capita (PPP US$) 3280
 Life expectancy index 0.77
 Education index 0.7
 GDP index 0.58
 Human development index(HDI)value 0.658
 GDP per capita(PPP US$)rank minus HDI rank: -1
       AGENDA


Strengths/ Weaknesses
          &
    Risk assesment
                            Strengths
 Interial Political stability.

 Perfect geografical location,between europe and the middle east.

 High percentage of youth, which gives the country a young
  productive future.

 Huge amount of Oil and Gas revienues Capital inflows especially.

 High level of natural resources, in particular oil and gas and
  Agricultural sector either.

 Diverse programs of the World Bank and the UNDP.

 Now Syrian government decided to follow a fixed exchange rate
  against dollar.

 Wages and Salaries are quite low.
                      Weaknesses
 Oil revenues (financing 50% of the budget and accounting for 2/3of
  exports) are running out.

 Unemployment is high and growing .

 Eventhough the father of our current president managed to bring
  political stability to the country the power is centralized too much,
  there is a high price for this stability.

 Corruption is very high too.

 Very poor infrastructure.

 Unstability regarding the running indirect war with Israel.

 Human Development Index shows shortcomings in the quality of life
  and that people are not properly academically educated.
                      Weaknesses
 These resources are not efficiently managed, competitiveness and
  production is not high enough.

 Environmental problems, pollution is quite high in the industrial cities
  like Aleppo and Damascus.

 Currency Tenge is highly dependent on poiltical stability.

 The banking sector has been shaky with non-performing loans
  already at high levels, and morover the new openning progress of
  private banks in the country.

 Banks used to face broblems in selling dollar to the market, as Syria
  used to ban selling or buying Dollar or any other foreign currencies
  in the interior market,but now its liberlized again,like it used to be 45
  years ago.
         Challenges for the future
 A poor investment climate.

 Too many taxes and an inefficient, corrupt and unpredictable tax
  administration.

 Extremely restrictive labour legislation.

 Excessive business licensing and operating permits and associated
  corruption and anti-competitive practices.

 Poor and inefficient customs and trade regulations and practices
  and overall regulatory policy uncertainty.

 Poor economic infrastructure ,electricity, telecommunications and
  transport.

 Poor access to finance and cost of financing.
                       Conclusion
 Weaknesses definitely outweight strengths, so there must be a
  better performing in the economy future.

 The biggest problem outlines is corruption.

 A political unstability regarding dictatorship in the regime and war
  threats from many countries.

 Unlimited previllages to the surrounding community of the president,
  focused in trades’ monopolies.

 A huge war could occur and not if and only if Israel signs a peace
  treaty with Syria which can stablize the current stressful situation in
  the area.
 Syria must perform highly in its petroleum exports which can back
  up the bad economy by using the revenues in developing the
  infrastructure.
                       Conclusion
 More political parties should be allowed.

 Tourism sector must be developed in the right way.

 Syria must attract more and more foreign investments which can
  protect it from foreign attacks.

 Syria is entering into many internationl treaties regarding taxation,
  which can eliminate the double taxation in exports and imports.

 President promised many changes in the end of years 2007, which
  can be the start for internationl investors to enter the market there.

 Human right must be more respected to eliminate any suspecious
  hesitations of foreign investers .

 A huge Monopoly and control of the public sector, privatisation
  should take a quick effect soon.
                                    Sources
   IMF
   The Worldbank
   Syria ministry of finance
   www.syrianbankingconference.org
   www.doingbusiness.org
   Aleppo&Damascus Chamber of commerce
   CIA
   www.heritage.org
   www.researchandmarkets.com
   Syria Ministry of tourism
   COFACE
   UNDPN
   Transparancy Internationl
   International Country Risk Guide (ICRG)
   Corruption control (Kaufmann D., Kraay A., Zoido- Lobaton P.),
   Tariff and non- tariff barriers (The Heritage Foundation-The Wall Street Journal)
   The freedom of exchange on the capital market (The Fraser Institute),
   The free use of foreign currency (The Fraser Institute),
   www.syrialive.net/business
   Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 2005. Country Report: Syria, March 2005. London, England.
   www.syriafinance.org, Dec 2002-2006
   Samer al sabagh, CEO, Blom bank in Syria, Aleppo, 2007
   Abdul alfatah majid, ‫.الوضع األقتصادي في سوريا‬The university of Damascus.2006

				
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