Syria records two percent growth in 2000
Syria's gross domestic product (GDP) rose by between 1.7 and two percent at current prices during 2000, and is expected to grow by 3.5 percent this year, the official daily Tishrin said Wednesday. The daily evaluated inflation at "four percent maximum" for the past year, which would imply a GDP drop at constant prices.
The newspaper said the modest growth reflected the drought, which has hit Syria over the past three years, affecting the agricultural sector, which usually represents a quarter of Syria's $17 billion GDP.
The paper added the balance of trade for the year 2000 should be positive thanks to the sustained high level of the oil market, which represents three quarters of Syria's exports.
Tishrin's forecast for 2001 is a 3.5 percent growth, supported by Damascus' recent decision to boost investment by creating private banks and forcing state companies to be more competitive.— (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)