Recently publicized statistics, issued by the Syrian-Lebanese Supreme Council, have revealed that the latest exchanges show a decrease in Lebanese exports to Syria, and an increase in Syrian imports by Lebanon.
The figures, appearing in Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, revealed that during the first quarter of 2000, the value of exports from Lebanon to Syria was $5.99 million, falling from $6.22 in the first quarter of 1999.
In 1994, the value of Lebanese exports to Syria had grown to $62 million from $56 million in 1993. This growth rate continued, reaching $70 million in both 1995 and 1996. However, these exports did not maintain such high levels and subsequently dropped to $38 million in 1997, constituting a 45 percent dive. In 1998, the export rate rose to $47 million, but fell to the even lower $32 million by 1999.
The imports from Syria, on the other hand, increased from $51.49 million in the first quarter of 1999 to $71.4 million in the corresponding period of 2000.
This increment in imports is a change in the trend of previous years. According to the report, the value of Lebanese imports from Syria had declined from $326 million in 1997 to $259 million in 1998, reflecting a 20 percent fall. In the following year, the value fell by an additional 13.9 percent reaching $223 million in 1999.