Syria

Syria, in long form the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia. Located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it has land borders with Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and a maritime border with Cyprus.

General presentation

Official name: Syrian Arab Republic
Type of regime: Republic
Surface area: 185,181 km2.
Capital: Damascus
Main cities: Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia
Official language(s): Arabic

National holiday: April 17

Population (2021): 20.4 million (CIA Factbook).
Refugees (2021): 6.6 million according to the United Nations,
including 3.6 million in Turkey, 850,000 in Lebanon, 660,000 in
Jordan, 244,000 in Iraq, 131,000 in Egypt and 35,713 in North
Africa (UNHCR).
Population growth (2019): 1% (World Bank).
Literacy rate (2015): 86.4%.
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Economic situation

A difficult and controversial reconstruction
The return of several provinces to the regime’s fold should begin the recovery of the Syrian economy. However, the economy is still in the doldrums after eight years of conflict. Syria’s gdP fell by almost 60% during the 2010/16 period, according to World Bank estimates. Much of the infrastructure was destroyed during the fighting. The industrial fabric has atrophied, while economic sanctions make it difficult to access financing. The regime is under the yoke of American and European sanctions dating back to 2011, but it can count on the support of China in addition to that of its main allies. Despite the support of Russia and Iran, the needs remain considerable. The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has estimated the total cost of reconstruction in Syria at US$388 billion. While some European countries, including Germany, would be willing to participate in the financing, they are making their assistance conditional on the establishment of an inclusive political process. Another limitation to the reconstruction process is the lack of human resources. The human toll of eight years of conflict remains high. The number of deaths directly related to the conflict is estimated at between 400,000 (UN, April 2016) and 470,000 (Syrian Center for Policy Research, February 2016). More than 6.1 million people, including 2.5 million children, have been displaced and 5.6 million are officially registered as refugees (UNHCR, September 2018). The issue of refugee return remains central to the success of the peace process. While countries hosting significant numbers of Syrians are reportedly in favor of facilitating their return, the regime continues to send conflicting signals. On the one hand, the announcements made by the government are reassuring and in favor of the return of displaced persons; on the other hand, the government orchestrated, as early as 2012, through Decree 66, the recovery by the regime of the property of displaced persons. Reconstruction also seems to be a means used by the regime to reshape the Syrian demography.
Source : Coface

Bilateral Relations

Bilateral investment treaties

Work in process

Double taxation agreements

Work in process

Free trade agreements

Work in process

Leading sector for Swiss companies

Agriculture, Industry, Services

Indicators

 201520162017
GDP (in billions of USD)1413.46Not available
GDP per capita (USD)2 900783Not available
Growth rate-9.9%-15%Not available
Unemployment rate14.6%15%15.2%
Inflation rate25.8%50.4%43.2%
Public debt (% of GDP)30.02 (2010)Not availableNot available
Budget balance (% of GDP)-20Not availableNot available
Current account balance (% of GDP)0.81(2007)Not availableNot available

(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main customers

Iraq 59.9%, Saudi Arabia 10%, Kuwait 6.5%, United Arab Emirates 5.6%, Libya 4.3% (2013)
Source: IMF 

Main suppliers

Saudi Arabia 24.6%, United Arab Emirates 12.1%, Iran 8.9%, Iraq 73%, Ukraine 4.1%, China 4.6% (2013)
Source : IMF

Swiss exports to

Work in process

Exports of …. to Switzerland

Work in process

Swiss direct investment in

Work in process

The business climate

Work in process