Subjects – Syria Report

Samer Foz


On November 24, the European Union General Court issued varied judgements on applications submitted by three Syrian businessmen and one company regarding their inclusion on the EU Syria sanctions list. That same day, the highest French court dismissed a case brought against a former regime official. Meanwhile, the following week, the European Union sanctioned the privately owned Syrian airline Cham Wings in view of the Belarusian border crisis.
International Financial Center has become the latest Syrian brokerage firm to announce the suspension of its operations, confirming the continuous winding down of the involvement of regional banks in the local market.


This factsheet will shed light on the economic relations between Syria and the UAE prior to 2011 and will trace the evolution of the bilateral relationship during the first half of the Syrian conflict. It will also focus on the path towards normalisation that has taken place in recent years, providing an overview of the business and economic ties since 2018 and covering the political and diplomatic developments that have taken place in the past six months.
Prior to the uprising, China was a major trade partner of Syria and had investments in the country, especially in its petroleum sector. Although trade increased following the 2011 conflict, Chinese companies largely withdrew from the market. Meanwhile, the Chinese government played a quiet but supportive role for Syrian authorities
The rise of Rami Makhlouf as Syria’s most prominent businessman coincided with the ascent to power of Bashar Al-Assad in 2000. Given his long history of influence within the ruling elite, Mr Makhlouf’s recent side-lining raises many questions about the potential implications of his fall from grace.



SEA Motors is a private car assembly company based in Syria.