Syria Economy    

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SYRIA

GDP: $102.5 billion (Purchase Power Parity).
Real growth rate: 2.2%.
Per capita GDP: $4,700.

Budget: Income .............. $9.2 Billion
Expenditure ... $13.4Billion

Main Crops:
Wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk .

Natural Resources:
Petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum.

Major Industries:
Petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining.

NATIONAL GNP

Syria's predominantly statist economy has been growing slower than its 2.5% annual population growth rate, causing a persistent decline in per capita GDP. President Bashar AL-ASAD has made little progress on the economic front after one year in office, but does appear willing to permit a gradual strengthening of the private sector. His most obvious accomplishment to this end was the recent passage of legislation allowing private banks to operate in Syria, although a private banking sector will take years and further government cooperation to develop. ASAD's recent cabinet reshuffle may improve his chances of implementing further growth-oriented policies, although external factors such as the international war on terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and downturn in oil prices could weaken the foreign investment and government revenues Syria needs to flourish. A long-run economic constraint is the pressure on water supplies caused by rapid population growth, industrial expansion, and increased water pollution.
GDP:

purchasing power parity - $54.2 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

2% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:

purchasing power parity - $3,200 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 27%
industry: 23%
services: 50% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:

15%-25%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:

4.7 million (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture 40%, industry 20%, services 40% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate:

20% (2000 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $5 billion
expenditures: $7 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries:

petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining
Industrial production growth rate:

NA%
Electricity - production:

19.7 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 64%
hydro: 36%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:

17.671 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:

650 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
Exports:

$5 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:

crude oil 68%, textiles 7%, fruits and vegetables 6%, raw cotton 4% (1998 est.)
Exports - partners:

Germany 27%, Italy 12%, France 10%, Turkey 10%, Saudi Arabia 7% (2000 est.)
Imports:

$4 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment 21%, food and livestock 18%, metal and metal products 15%, chemicals and chemical products 10% (2000 est.)
Imports - partners:

Italy 9%, Germany 7%, France 5%, Lebanon 5%, China 4%, South Korea 4%, Turkey 4%, US 4% (2000 est.)
Debt - external:

$22 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:

$199 million (1997 est.)
Currency:

Syrian pound (SYP)
Currency code:

SYP
Exchange rates:

Syrian pounds per US dollar - 51 (December 2001), 46 (2000), 46 (1998), 41.9 (January 1997)
Fiscal year:

calendar year