Syrian economy hit hard by protests

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A sustained period of protest over the reign of President Bashar al-Assad has put severe strain on Syria’s $60 billion economy.

Residential areas have been transformed into conflict zones and normal life has ceased to exist as it was previously known.

Nabil Sukkar, a former economist with the World Bank, has commented on how widespread the damage to the Syrian economy has become.

“The impact of the unrest is very negative and in many sectors it’s hard to quantify, but there is a recession almost across the board, from tourism to real estate to investment.

Authorities recently imposed a ban on imports in a bid to save foreign currency reserves, however, this was reversed after a matter of days.

“The ban was short-sighted,” suggests Sukkar. “It would have led to unemployment and encouraged smuggling. Even now, prices have not gone down sufficiently as yet.”

Leading economists estimate that Syria’s reserves have dropped by at least $2 billion this year as the central bank has repeatedly invested foreign currency in a vain attempt to halt the pound (Syrian currency) falling further in value on the black market.

One of the primary problems seems to be a lack of control over the economy from a regime which is focusing its efforts on simply staying in power.

The ordinary Syrian public must choose between continuing to sustain their protest which has now lasted 6 months, and saving a crumbling economy.

Transfer Money to Syria

Are you looking to invest in Syria? If so, think carefully about how you will be transferring money to Syria. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are sending money to Syria – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment - be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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