Syria: Oxford Business Group launches new country report

Published July 20th, 2010 - 11:01 GMT

The steady progress Syria has made in liberalising its economy while also carving out a key role for itself on the international stage is mapped out in a wide-ranging report just published by Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Syria 2010, which offers in-depth coverage of the country's economic activity and investment opportunities, is available now.

As the government prepares to introduce its 11th Five-Year Plan for the country, The Report: Syria 2010 explores its bid to build public-private partnerships, particularly in the oil industry, and tap investors for key projects earmarked for the transport sector.

The leading global publishing, research and consultancy firm's report includes a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, together with a wide range of interviews with the most prominent political, economic and business leaders. President Bashar Al Assad's views on Syria's economic development are featured in The Report: Syria 2010, together with those of many high-profile international personalities, including David W Lesch, Professor of Middle East History, Trinity University, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy and Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League.

The report also features interviews with key figures from politics and business, including Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdullah Al Dardari, Minister of Industry Fouad Issa Al Jouni, Minister of Transport Yarob Badr and the CEO of Damascus Securities Exchange Mohamad Al Jleilati. A first-time chapter dedicated to the extensive developments taking place in health and education includes an exclusive interview with First Lady Asma Al Assad.

With the Damascus Securities Exchange marking its first year of operations, The Report: Syria 2010 looks back on its initial performance while considering the possibility that an easing of trading restrictions could be on the horizon. In its Capital Markets chapter, which contains share analyses, the report also looks at plans to develop a government bond market and explores how the Exchange hopes to rise to the challenge of persuading the country's family businesses to list.

OBG's report maps out the overhaul earmarked for Syria's transportation system, which forms part of a broader bid to improve connectivity both nationally and across the region. There is detailed coverage of the government's bid to bring the private sector on board for the extensive developments planned for roads, rail projects and ports in line with Syria's bid to carve out a role for itself as a regional transport hub.

With oil reserves continuing to play a key role in Syria's economic growth, OBG's new report highlights the new developments taking place in the industry which the government is looking to tap. It outlines the country's plans to seek out new partners as it considers exploring opportunities in gas production, complex extraction and mid- and downstream segments.

The Report: Syria 2010 has been produced in partnership with the Syrian Enterprise and Business Centre (SEBC). Contributions have also been made Bemo Saudi Fransi Finance as its capital markets partner, Karawani Law Firm as OBG's legal partner, ASAS for Business Consultancy as accountancy partner and Bank Audi Syria as its banking partner.

Paulius Kuncinas, OBG's Regional Editor for Asia and the Levant, said that Syria had made impressive progress with its economic reform while also managing to boost foreign trade and sidestep the global financial crisis.

"The successful steps which Syria has taken in liberalising its economy have been matched by its achievements on the international stage, where it is enjoying revived relations with the US and has forged key trade partnerships with the EU," he said. "I am confident that OBG's new report accurately and comprehensively reflects Syria's growing regional prominence and steady economic progress."

Kuncinas also acknowledged the key role that OBG's partners had played in contributing to The Report: Syria 2010. "Oxford Business Group has long recognised the importance of teaming up with leading local partners with detailed knowledge in their field," he said. "With Syria in the midst of significant economic development, their contribution has undoubtedly helped OBG to produce an unrivalled report which documents the exciting investment opportunities Syria has to offer."

The Report: Syria 2010 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments in all major sectors of the economy, including energy, industry, finance, banking, tourism, transport and real estate.

The Report forms part of the range of OBG's publications, which are renowned as leading sources of information on developing and emerging economies around the world. The Report: Syria 2010 will be available in print form and online. 

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