While a higher number of manufacturing companies began operations in Syria during the first half of 2022 compared with the same period last year, the capital size of these investments is much smaller.
A leading manufacturer of clothing in Syria is set to close several retail outlets because of shrinking textile production and low consumer demand, in an ominous sign for a sector that was once an important pillar of the country’s economy.
The Syrian Investment Agency (SIA), a state-owned body that licenses and promotes large-scale investment projects in the country, has published a report showing a modest increase in investments in 2019.
The Syrian government is planning to award major projects in the tobacco and steel sectors to private companies in a bid to win badly needed investment amid a lack of government funds.
The number of new manufacturers starting operations in Syria increased slightly last year, according to official data, but the growth rate was much lower than in 2019 due largely to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic as well as ongoing fuel and electricity shortages and the deterioration of the Syrian pound.
Syria’s three major industrial cities saw a jump in the value of newly licensed projects last year, although the number of jobs created and the number of projects beginning construction slowed down, according to official data.
The sharp rise in the cost of raw materials is leading to a shortage of paper products, including schoolbooks, despite a recent increase in local production capacity.
A contract signed between a Syrian state company and an Iranian supplier confirms that Tehran’s credit lines to Damascus are technically still operational.
Since the end of last year, Syria’s eight car assembly plants have stopped producing because the government has stopped issuing the import licences required for their activities.
A legislative decree has lifted tariff barriers on a range of industrial inputs in a bid to encourage local production.
The government has agreed to subsidise loans granted to Aleppo industrialists in a bid to kickstart investment in Syria’s traditional manufacturing hub.
Official data is painting a mixed picture for investment in Syria’s manufacturing sector.