Syria and Iran have signed new bilateral economic agreements that will boost further trade ties between the two countries but that are only one aspect of the growing dependency of Damascus towards its ally.
Syria’s economy lost some USD 203 billion in the last four years, according to a report recently released by a Damascus-based organisation.
The European Union has blacklisted several new Syria-related companies and individuals, including two Iran-related businessmen and another involved last year in the negotiations to release abducted nuns as well as in dealings between the regime and ISIS.
Four individuals of Syrian origin are listed in the world’s billionaires list published by Forbes magazine, although none of them built his wealth in the country.
Syrian officials are holding an increasing number of meetings with investors and officials from countries deemed friendly in an apparent bid to develop economic and trade ties.
The number of companies registered in Syria by the end of last year was slightly above 500,000 according to data from the Ministry of Economy.
The Syrian Government is trying to limit the demand for dollars and pressures on its currency by restricting import licenses, the Minister of Economy said.
The Swiss Leaks data, which provide information on over one hundred thousand account holders with the Swiss branch of HSBC, list Syria 40th worldwide among the countries with the largest dollar amounts.
Syria’s imports from Russia stood at around USD 1 billion in 2014, according to a Government official.
Switzerland has banned the sale of jet fuel and fuel additives to Syria following in the European Union steps.
The number of Syrian limited liability and joint-stock companies is close to 4,000 according to official data.
Turkish exports to Syria last year recovered to their level prior to the uprising, according to official Turkish statistics.
In Syrian Pound terms, customs revenues increased last year, according to a government official.
The European Union has blacklisted again three Syrian businessmen, including Mohammad Hamsho, after they had managed to cancel a previous listing.
Official Syrian media outlets have been increasing their reports lately on the economic benefits brought by the Government to the southern governorate of Suweida where political tensions have been rising lately.
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