Normalization with the Syrian regime

Short animation showing the impact of normalizing trade relations between the Syrian regime and Arab countries both on the regime and Syrian households.

Explainer Video
Published 6 January 2022 1 minute READ

Normalization with the Syrian regime

— This short explainer animation shows the impact of normalizing trade relations between the Syrian regime and Arab countries both on the regime and on the livelihood of Syrian households.

Zaki Mehchy

Former Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme

The estimated increase in trade over the coming four years (see 00:00:20) is based on gravity model of trade between Syria and the Arab countries, the Syrian government trade data in 2020, and the pace of the normalization process observed between 2018 and 2020.

The pattern of distribution of the increase in trade among the regime affiliates and the small and medium traders (see 00:00:35) is estimated based on the distribution of the official import and export licenses between traders in regime-controlled areas, on informal interviews with officials and businesspersons in regime-controlled areas, and on the fact that small and medium traders pay around 25 per cent of their trade values to different government entities.

The estimated increase in the annual trade deficit by the end of 2024 (see 00:01:15) is based on the current trade structure in Syria which makes around 80 per cent imports and 20 per cent exports.

It is also based on the assumption that fully normalized trade relations with the Arab countries are expected to increase Syria’s overall trade by around $1.2 bn in 2024.