Retail & Trade
The value of goods shipped into and out of Syria’s free trade zones dropped sharply in 2013.
Updated on November 12: KFC, the US fast food chain closed its last restaurant in Damascus, as the company’s operations were disrupted by the ongoing conflict.
Trading in Syria’s free trade zones continued to plunge in the first eight months of this year, according to a government official.
Chalhoub Group, a distributor of fashion and beauty products, is taking a 85 percent loss in its operations in Syria, its CEO said.
Trade activity in Syria’s free zones declined some 26 percent last year over the general contraction in business activity and rising violence witnessed across the country.
The volume of trade in Syria’s free trade zones reached SYP 56 billion in the first ten months of the year, a figure that marks a strong decline from previous years.
The head of the General Organization of Free Trade Zones said that the total trade volume by companies established in the zones reached SYP 33 billion in the first half of this year.
Bilateral trade between Lebanon and Syria remained remarkably stable in the first five months of this year.
Syria ranked only 108th in the world in the latest edition of the Enabling Trade Index of the World Economic Forum.
Damascus is witnessing the opening of its latest commercial mall in the midst of a steep decline in consumer spending and a severe economic downturn.
The Governorate of Damascus has allocated 13 new locations for stall vendors in a bid to push them out of the city centre.
The General Organisation of Free Zones, the body in charge of the management of Syria’s free trade zones, said its revenues, generated from rent and other fees paid by companies, stood at SYP 900 million last year, from SYP 1 billion in 2010.
Turkey’s Ministry of Economy has established a Syria Desk to help Turkish traders and manufacturers cope with the turmoil in their southern neighbour.
Levant Motors, the Syrian Mercedes Benz dealership, has conducted a five-fold increase of its capital.
Versace, a high-end Italian fashion brand, recently opened its first store in the Syrian capital in the upscale district of Abu Rummaneh.
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