During his first visit to India as a minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal Mekdad met with high-level Indian officials to discuss strengthening bilateral relations and the status of a credit line that India extended to Syria before the conflict.
Despite severe restrictions to its financial transactions with the outside world, Syria is unlikely to use the Russian alternative to the SWIFT system anytime soon.
Syrian and Russian officials recently discussed joint energy projects at two events in Moscow and Damascus. Though little new information was revealed about the status of these projects, both officials acknowledged that they face difficulties.
Syria is exporting significant volumes of phosphate to Iran, official data show, confirming the involvement of Tehran in Syria’s phosphate industry.
The government has re-issued a tender to purchase thousands of tonnes of fertiliser for the ninth time since last year, raising questions about the status of local production.
The European Union and the United Kingdom sanctioned Syrian security companies and individuals, including well-known businessmen, for their involvement in the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts.
Between 2019 and 2021, Iranian investors established more than triple the number of companies their Chinese and Russian counterparts created in Syria, according to The Syria Report’s business registry, which is wholly based on information published in Syria’s Official Gazette.
Kiev has announced that it will cut political and economic ties with Damascus after the latter recognised Luhansk (also spelt Lugansk) and Donetsk, two Russian-backed breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine. Kiev’s decision, which includes a trade embargo, will further deteriorate relations between the two countries and impact Syria’s trade-related foreign currency inflows.
Syria’s gross domestic product declined in 2020 for the first time in four years, according to data released by the Syrian government.
The past few weeks have seen continued attempts at rapprochement between European and Arab countries and the Syrian government, mostly of an economic character.
Iran’s crude oil exports to Syria have remained stable for the first quarter of the year compared with the last quarter of 2021, according to an independent online service that tracks global shipments of crude oil, especially those of Iranian origin. However, government officials have indicated that Syria has received a larger amount than what was reported.
Although international negotiations remain ongoing in hopes of avoiding a Russian-Ukrainian confrontation, Syria may not be spared of the potential consequences of a larger conflict, including the disruption of trade in the Black Sea basin, halting or reducing Syria’s trade with both Ukraine and Russia and leading to a global rise in food and oil prices that would also impact the Syrian economy. The overall fallout on the Syrian economy should be relatively limited though.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has provided data on the country’s production of crude oil, petroleum products and phosphate last year.
Iran’s non-oil trade with Syria in the first 9 months of the Iranian calendar year (March-December 2021) increased by 85 percent compared with the same period in 2020, according to Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture. Trade between the two countries is likely to be higher than the reported figures if oil exports to Syria were included, as well as Iranian trade through the United Arab Emirates.
After over twenty years of negotiations, the Iranian government has announced that work on a multi-million dollar railway connection from the Iranian town of Shalamcheh to Iraq’s Basra is set to begin within two months. The link is part of a more significant railway project to connect Iran's Imam Khomeini Port with Syria’s Lattakia Port, the country’s main commercial port.
The Ministry of Electricity announced that it has contracted an Iranian engineering firm to rehabilitate the Mhardeh Power Plant in Hama.
The government has announced additional new gas production as it seeks to meet its significant electricity production shortage.
A high-ranking Russian delegation has visited Damascus following the recent reelection of President Bashar Al-Assad, highlighting Moscow’s continuing ambition to capitalise on its military and political support for the regime.
No foreign direct investment into the Syrian economy was recorded in Syria in 2020, for the ninth year in a row, according to UNCTAD.
The Syrian government has announced a steep increase in the price of fertilisers, a decision that will weigh heavily on the already ailing agricultural sector.