Middle East - SYRIA



Country Profile:

Once the centre of the Islamic Empire, Syria is home to a diverse number of ethnic and religious groups. Modern Syria gained its independence from France in 1946. In 1958 it unified with Egypt but the new entity lasted for only three years, with the Syrian Arab Republic being re-established in 1961. It is a presidential republic with, historically, a much centralised and poor economy. However, over the past few years the President, Bashar al-Asad, has implemented economic reform programmes including cutting lending rates, opening private banks and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange which is scheduled to open in 2009.

Main Trade Partners:

France, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt

Main Industries:

Oil & Gas, Agriculture, Tourism, Beverages, Textiles, Tobacco, Food Processing


19,747,586 (July 2008 CIA World Factbook est.)


185,180 sq. km.


87.1 bn. (2007 IMF est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate:

3.9% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

GDP per Head:

$4,488 (2007 IMF est.)

GDP per Sector:

Services 48.9%, Industry 27.5%, Agriculture 23.6% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

Stock Market Capitalisation:


Exchange Rate:

1 Syrian Pound = 0.019 US$ (Sept ’08)
1 US$ = 52.05 Syrian Pounds

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