Syria Trade Agreements

Syria Trade Agreements: Exploring Opportunities for Economic Growth

Syria is a Middle Eastern nation that has been mired in conflict for more than a decade. Despite the ongoing crisis, the country has immense potential for economic growth, thanks to its strategic location, natural resources, and skilled workforce. To achieve this, Syria needs to leverage the power of international trade agreements, which can help it reduce trade barriers, attract investment, and enhance its competitiveness in the global market.

Let`s take a closer look at some of the major trade agreements that Syria is currently a party to:

1. Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA): Syria is a member of the GAFTA, which is a free trade zone comprising 17 Arab countries. The agreement allows for the elimination of tariffs on most goods traded among member states, and aims to boost intra-regional trade and investment. Syria`s participation in the GAFTA has facilitated its trade relations with neighboring countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

2. Turkey-Syria Free Trade Agreement (FTA): Turkey is one of Syria`s most important trade partners, accounting for more than 20% of its total trade. The Turkey-Syria FTA, signed in 2007, aims to promote mutual trade by removing tariffs on a wide range of goods and services. The agreement has enabled Syrian exporters to access the Turkish market, which has a population of more than 80 million and a booming economy.

3. Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan: In 2019, Syria signed a customs union agreement with Belarus and Kazakhstan, two members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The deal paves the way for the elimination of customs duties and non-tariff barriers on many goods traded among the countries. The union also provides a platform for Syria to explore new trade opportunities with other EAEU member states, such as Russia, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.

In addition to these agreements, Syria is also engaged in negotiations to join other regional trade blocs, such as the Arab-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Morocco-Gulf Cooperation Council FTA. These partnerships have the potential to expand Syria`s market access and increase its competitiveness by diversifying its export base and attracting foreign investment.

However, it`s important to note that trade agreements alone cannot solve Syria`s economic challenges. The country`s infrastructure has suffered significant damage due to the war, and its human capital has been depleted as thousands of skilled workers and entrepreneurs have fled the country. To fully realize the benefits of trade agreements, Syria needs to invest in rebuilding its physical and institutional infrastructure, and create an enabling environment for private sector growth.

In conclusion, Syria`s participation in trade agreements has opened up new opportunities for the country to boost its economy and enhance its competitiveness in the global market. By pursuing further regional and international partnerships, and investing in rebuilding its infrastructure and institutions, Syria can tap into its vast potential and become a major player in the Middle East`s economy.