Foreign businesses eye Syria as promising market

Added On September 12, 2018

 The actual battles in Syria have largely declined except for one last rebel bastion in the northwest. 

Foreign companies are considering this a prime time to begin business in Syria.
Economy Report went to find out more. 
The Syrian government has opened the Damascus International Fair in the largest fairground in the country.
It is Syria’s largest trade fair.
The Syrian government has invited many foreign businesses and promoted the reconstruction process as the next phase. 
Around 48 countries, spanning over 1,700 foreign and local companies, are taking part in the week-long trade fair.
The Syrian government stressed that the so-called“friendly countries”, such as Iran, Russia, and China, will be prioritised in taking part in the reconstruction process in the country, where large areas are in ruins.
There are a lot of pavilions showing products such as clothing, electronics and vehicles, but construction materials are center stage at this year's fair.
01’08”18 – 01’28”23
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): MUHAMMAD JAVAD, Iranian Company Representative 
“It’s the best time to enter the Syrian market because you know the war has finished and the area is completely safe and you know any company or country can enter this market.”
01’46”10 – 01’57”16
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): ALEXANDER, Russian Company Representative  
"There is a huge demand for this product because it’s necessary for the rehabilitation of the country, so we think that we are maybe useful.”
Chinese products such as locally-assembled Chinese cars and construction vehicles, have also been displayed.
02’40”04 – 02’57”15
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): ZHAO CHEN, Chinese Company Representative 
“I think this exhibition is a success and we can find a lot of potential customers who want to buy machines from us so I can find a lot of opportunities in the Syrian market so I have confidence in the Syrian market in the future.”
However, the main obstacle of Syria's reconstruction is Western sanctions.
The country has worked to overcome the unilateral Western sanctions through self-reliance and cooperation as well as trade exchanges with friendly countries.
Last month, the United Nations announced that the seven-year war in Syria implied the destruction of nearly 400 billion U.S. dollars.
According to estimates published by the World Bank in late 2017, the long-standing war in Syria has ravaged its infrastructure and caused losses to its economy of 226 billion U.S. dollars.