Syria flag Syria: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Syria

Foreign Trade in Figures

Syria was open to international trade before the outbreak of the civil war in 2011. It had signed a free trade agreement with Turkey as well as an association agreement with the European Union and joined the GAFTA (a large Arab free trade area). After being subdued during the conflict, foreign trade finally regained momentum starting in 2021, when it represented 98% of the country's GDP (from 48% one year earlier, according to data World Bank). In 2023, the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade reported a significant 27% decrease in import values for both public and private sectors, totalling over EUR 3.2 billion compared to 2022. This decline was attributed to a government-imposed "rationing policy" focused on importing essential goods to mitigate foreign exchange demand. Conversely, exports surged by 60% in 2023, surpassing EUR 900 million across both sectors, resulting in a trade deficit of about EUR 2.3 billion. The increase in exports was driven by higher quantities and values of items like phosphate, clothing, shoes, medicines, and aromatic products such as cumin, as well as certain agricultural goods like almonds. However, specific exports like vegetables, anise, stones, sand, and gravel witnessed a decrease in quantities compared to 2022.

The Syrian government has implemented a strategy of "substituting imports and bolstering local products," resulting in monopolistic conditions for certain essential materials in the market. Additionally, the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) has introduced an "import financing platform" aimed at curtailing the depletion of foreign exchange reserves.
According to the WTO, Syria was the 124th-largest exporter and 130th-largest importer of merchandise in the world in 2022.

Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,8194,9586,1366,3917,300
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,7304,1463,9144,3565,470

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -2.531.3-6.2-2.2-11.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -4.430.0-14.410.747.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 45.441.735.729.033.6
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 21.719.314.913.014.8

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change)
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change)

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Syria is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), ICC, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), G-24, G-77, Arab League, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Syria click here. International organisation membership of Syria is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Syria can be consulted here.

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows.

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.


© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: March 2024