Subjects – Syria Report



The Syrian government has granted a licence to an Iranian company and two Iranian businessmen to establish an Islamic bank called Al-Madina Islamic Bank. The Central Bank of Syria has said that Iran holds a 60 percent stake in the bank, reflecting Tehran's "confidence in Syria's economic recovery and development.” Al-Madina Islamic Bank has a capital of SYP 50 billion. This development marks a milestone in the Tehran-Damascus relations given that for some two decades all the attempts to establish a joint Syrian-Iranian bank in Syria have failed.
Last month, an Iranian private insurance company announced that its first foreign branch will soon be established in Syria. Having obtained the necessary approvals, Mellat Insurance Company (MIC) – a US-sanctioned company that belongs to the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order, a parastatal organisation under the direct control of Iran’s Supreme Leader – will be the first Iranian company to enter Syria’s insurance sector.
Three new licenses for car assembly plants have been given to Syrian investors in the past few months, raising the potential number of these plants, including several that have been operating for years, to eight. Here is a breakdown of these projects.
The combined number of cars assembled by Syria’s five car assembly plants reached a mere 499 cars in the first 11 months of the year, a reflection of the dismal situation of the market and of the purchasing power of the population.


Syria has four large industrial cities located near Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, and Deir-ez-Zor. The government built them to attract large-scale industrial projects, increase exports of high-value-added industrial products and create employment opportunities.
The following updated and expanded report describes the main components of Iranian-Syrian economic relations. The first two sections will examine trade and economic and business relations between the two countries prior to and following the 2011 conflict. The third will provide an overview of Iranian involvement in a variety of sectors, while the fourth will elaborate on Iran's growing economic foothold in the country since 2020. Finally, the fifth section will provide insight into the prospects of Iranian-Syrian relations.