Retail & Trade

Bilateral trade between Lebanon and Syria remained remarkably stable in the first five months of this year.
Damascus is witnessing the opening of its latest commercial mall in the midst of a steep decline in consumer spending and a severe economic downturn.
The Governorate of Damascus has allocated 13 new locations for stall vendors in a bid to push them out of the city centre.
The General Organisation of Free Zones, the body in charge of the management of Syria’s free trade zones, said its revenues, generated from rent and other fees paid by companies, stood at SYP 900 million last year, from SYP 1 billion in 2010.
Turkey’s Ministry of Economy has established a Syria Desk to help Turkish traders and manufacturers cope with the turmoil in their southern neighbour.
Levant Motors, the Syrian Mercedes Benz dealership, has conducted a five-fold increase of its capital.
The Syrian President has set his seal on a preferential trade agreement linking Syria with Iran that will see customs tariffs between the two countries gradually lowered in the next five years.
Versace, a high-end Italian fashion brand, recently opened its first store in the Syrian capital in the upscale district of Abu Rummaneh.
The Syrian government has reduced import tariffs on a wide range of consumer products and manufacturing inputs in a bid to reduce costs, as the month of Ramadan, a period of the year when demand peaks and prices rise, is set to begin.
The Samha Group and the Benetton Group have announced that the production and distribution agreement linking them would not be renewed.
Syria Duty Free, the company operating duty free shops on Syrian border ports, has been sold to unnamed Kuwaiti investors, the company said in a statement.
Ayyam Gallery, a Damascus-based art gallery and one of the largest in the Middle East, has announced that it is pulling out of the Egyptian market.
Zara, the global clothing retailer, opened its first store in central Damascus on March 30.
Bilateral trade between France and Syria rose to EUR 737 million or around USD 1 billion last year according to French statistics.The figure represents a 13 percent increase compared to 2009 (EUR 651 million).
Costa Coffee, a global chain of cafés, has closed most of its outlets in Damascus, citing operational losses.


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