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Economy, Foreign Trade

North African countries, Persian Gulf War, refined petroleum, Western nations, Gulf States

In the past, Syria imported considerably more than it exported each year. However, Syria’s closer alliance with Western nations and the Gulf States in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War (1991) stimulated high economic growth in the private sector and increased export earnings. In 2000 Syrian imports totaled $4.9 billion, and exports totaled $4.6 billion. The principal imports were manufactures of many types, including machinery, transportation equipment, iron and steel, refined petroleum, textiles, and chemical products. Syria also imported grain, livestock products, and other agricultural goods. The principal exports were petroleum, cotton and other textiles, preserved foods, beverages, tobacco, phosphates, fruits, and vegetables. The chief buyers of Syrian exports were Germany, Italy, France, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Imports were supplied chiefly by Italy, Germany, France, South Korea, the United States, and Japan. Much revenue was derived from fees charged to foreign countries for piping oil through Syria. Considerable foreign currency also came from the expenditures of the many tourists who visit the country each year. In November 1995 Syria and several other Middle Eastern and North African countries signed an agreement with the European Union to create a Mediterranean free trade zone by 2010.

Article key phrases:

North African countries, Persian Gulf War, refined petroleum, Western nations, Gulf States, phosphates, tobacco, expenditures, transportation equipment, foreign countries, tourists, South Korea, fruits, cotton, Lebanon, European Union, Saudi Arabia, aftermath, grain, iron, chemical products, textiles, private sector, France, Italy, types, beverages, Germany, machinery, agreement, United States, steel, fees, year


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