The economy of Syria is based on agriculture, oil, industry and services. The country’s main economic drivers consist of crude oil and gas production. Syria had a net export of many agricultural products. In recent years, tourism had also become major source of economic growth.
Since March 2011, Syria is facing an unprecedented crisis and escalating violence. The impact of the political crisis on the economy is significant. Syria is experiencing collapse in export revenues, and decreasing foreign investment, remittances, production affecting overall confidence in the country.
Prior to the crisis, Syria’s economic reform efforts had helped to strengthen its growth performance, although external and domestic shocks, particularly the impact of the global financial crisis, had adversely affected Syria’s macroeconomic performance. However, despite accelerating over the last decade, economic growth had not been inclusive; Once the conflict has subsided, Syria will cope with immediate economic challenges including: employment creation, reinstating its trade balance and exchange rate, creating a market dynamic, stabilising inflation, and strengthening the financial sector.
In the medium to long term, Syria would still need to advance its unfinished structural reform agenda, with creating the conditions for strong economic growth, by developing non-oil sectors to cope with the decline in oil production and the need for job creation. To achieve this goal, Syria will need to further diversify its economy and create a more conducive environment for private sector development and export promotion. Syria will also need to increase its productivity by raising the skills of its labor force and improving its technological base.