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Economy of Syria

The economy of Syria is based on agriculture, oil, industry and services. Its GDP per capita expanded 80% in the 1960s reaching a peak of 336% of total growth during the 1970s. This proved unsustainable for Syria and the economy shrank by 33% during the 1980s. However the GDP per capita registered a very modest total growth of 12% (1.1% per year on average) during the 1990s due to successful diversification. More recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected real GDP growth at 3.9% in 2009 from close to 6% in 2008. The two main pillars of the Syrian economy used to be agriculture and oil, which together accounted for about one-half of GDP. Agriculture, for instance, accounted for about 25% of GDP and employed 25% of the total labour force. However, poor climatic conditions and severe drought badly affected the agricultural sector, thus reducing its share in the economy to about 17% of 2008 GDP, down from 20.4% in 2007, according to preliminary data from the Central Bureau of Statistics. On the other hand, higher crude oil prices countered declining oil production and led to higher budgetary and export receipts.

These sanctions and the instability associated with the civil war have reversed previous growth in the Syrian economy to a state of decline for the years 2011 and 2012. According to the UN, total economic damages of the Syrian civil war are estimated at $143 billion as of late 2013.

By July 2013, the Syrian economy had shrunk 45 percent since the start of the Civil War. Unemployment increased fivefold, the value of the Syrian currency decreased to one-sixth its pre-war value, and the public sector lost USD $15 billion. By the end of 2013, the UN estimated total economic damage of the Syrian civil war at $143 billion.

Sectors

Agriculture

Agriculture is a high priority in Syria's economic development plans, as the government seeks to achieve food self-sufficiency, increase export earnings, and halt rural out-migration. Syria has gone from a net importer of many agricultural products to an exporter of cotton, fruits, vegetables, and other foodstuffs. he agriculture sector, as of 2009, employs about 17 percent of the labour force and generates about 21 percent of the gross domestic product, of which livestock accounted for 16 percent and fruit and grains for more than 40 percent.

Energy and mineral resources

Mining

Phosphates are the major minerals exploited in Syria. Syria produced about 1.9% of the world's phosphate rock output and was the world's ninth ranked producer of phosphate rock in 2009. Other major minerals produced in Syria include cement, gypsum, industrial sand (silica), marble, natural crude asphalt, nitrogen fertilizer, phosphate fertilizer, salt, steel, and volcanic tuff, which generally are not produced for export.

Oil and natural gas

According to the International Monetary Fund, oil sales for 2010 were projected to generate $3.2 billion for the Syrian government and account for 25.1% of the state's revenue.

Industry and manufacturing

The industrial sector, which includes mining, manufacturing, construction, and petroleum, accounted for 27.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 and employed about 16 percent of the labour force. The main industrial products are petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, and car assembly.

Services

Services accounted for 45.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 and employed 67 percent of the labour force, including government, in 2008. As of May 2009, it was reported that Damascus office prices are skyrocketing.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Syria"

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