Lattakia (703)


General trading


Traffic at Syria’s two commercial ports has remained relatively stable in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period of last year, official data show.


Wheat imports to Syria in the first eight months of this year have been robust, data from a Government official show.


Cham Wings, a private charter airline, is planning to resume operations in the next few days, betting on high demand for domestic flights, as roads remain insecure.


The Syrian Investment Agency licensed 40 projects in the first eight months of the year, most of them located around Damascus and in the coastal area.


A Russian company is planning to expand its investment in the tourism sector in Syria’s coastal area.


Contrary to Lattakia’s Port, Syria’s other commercial port, the Port of Tartous witnessed a decline in the volume of cargo handled in the first half of this year.


The number of containers handled at the Lattakia Port in the first half of this year increased 30 percent compared to the same period of last year, confirming an improvement in trading activity.


One of Syria’s state-owned press groups is reportedly planning to issue a daily newspaper to cover Tartous local news.


The number of investment projects licensed by the Syrian Investment Agency in the first half of this year was equivalent to its level of 2012, confirming the relative increase in private sector investments in some parts of the country.


Syria’s olive production, a major bread earner in various parts of the country, will be declining this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.


The Syrian Government is opening six new university faculties in various “safe areas” of the country.


Syrianair has announced that its safety accreditation has been renewed by IATA.


Abdallah Dardari, Syria’s former Deputy Prime Minister, provided an estimate for the economic cost of Syria’s reconstruction during a business forum in which many of Syria’s old business faces reappeared.


Since the beginning of the year, the Syrian Investment Agency has licensed an average of five new projects every months, almost exclusively in the so-called “safe areas” of the country.


Two new industrial areas to accommodate manufacturing investments have been established in the coastal city of Lattakia by the Ministry of Local Administration.


A Presidential decree has established a new public sector university in the central province of Hama.


A local media says that hundreds of lawsuits are being brought against activists based on posts published on Facebook, a claim that may be true but may also be a means of frightening Facebook users and of pressuring them into self-censorship.


More than 80 percent of hotels located in Homs are out of service, according to a Government official.


Import of tobacco and tobacco products


The Ministry of Tourism is organising on May a conference to attract local investors interested in small and medium-sized projects.


The Syrian Investment Agency has announced that it licensed a number of new investments in the first quarter of this year.


The airport of Qamishli in Syria’s northeast continues to witness relatively strong traffic, as the country’s roads remain insecure.


Syria’s tobacco organisation, a traditionally important contributor to the Treasury, announced a decline in cigarette production volumes last year as several plants stopped production.


In safe areas across the country, several new pharmaceutical plants are being established, including one by the brother of the Syrian first lady.


Trading and contracting


Inflation data for the month of June 2013, which were released only now by the Syrian government, confirm the surge in retail prices across all product segments.


Trading and manufacturing of plastic goods


Container traffic declined by almost half last year at the Lattakia Port over falling business activity.


The Syrian Investment Agency licensed last year 49 projects, most of which are located in safe areas of the country.


The production of Portland cement by Syrian state plants continues to be well below planned levels.


CMA-CGM is negotiating with the Syrian authorities to manage the container terminal of the Tartous Port as the owner of the global shipping company is fined by a Syrian court over a business dispute, according to press reports.


Syria’s higher education institutions have suffered losses of around 5 billion pounds since the beginning of the uprising, according to the Minister of Higher Education.


Real estate prices remain high in the coastal area where a growing number of Syrians find refuge.


Two new hospitality resorts are being established in Tartous and Lattakia, as the coastal area remains the only part of Syria to witness some form of limited investment.


Almost 50 percent of all Syrian companies are located in the governorates of Aleppo, Damascus and Damascus Countryside, records from the Ministry of Economy show.


Two new university faculties will be established in the coastal town of Tartous, raising further the number of government projects established in Syria’s coastal areas in recent months.


Syrianair has suspended all its flights to Egypt, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority has announced.


Data from the Syrian Investment Agency, and other anecdotal evidence, indicate that there has been an increase in recent weeks in the number of investment projects established in the coastal area.


The Port of Lattakia witnessed a dramatic decline in containers handled in the first nine months of this year.


Syrian officials have laid the foundation stone and inaugurated three projects in the Lattakia province, including two in the town of Qardaha, for a total value of over SYP 1.1 billion.


The freight volume in Tartous Port stood at 4.6 million tons in the first three quarters of this year, according to Ghazwan KheirBeik, the port’s general manager.


The US dollar has lost some 15 percent of its value relative to the Syrian Pound in the last two days as the Syrian currency gained strength following the UN resolution on Syria’s chemical stocks, which was seen as a victory for the Syrian authorities.


Freight and other maritime services


Syria’s citrus fruits production is expected to be on target this year as it will be little affected by the violence gripping the country.


The Syrian Investment Agency licensed only twelve investment projects in the first half of this year.


Shipping services