Lattakia (727)


The volume of traffic at Tartous Port continued to decline markedly in the first two months of this year.


Trading and contracting


The European Union has blacklisted several new Syria-related companies and individuals, including two Iran-related businessmen and another involved last year in the negotiations to release abducted nuns as well as in dealings between the regime and ISIS.


Four individuals of Syrian origin are listed in the world’s billionaires list published by Forbes magazine, although none of them built his wealth in the country.


Trading and contracting


A Syrian official has announced that the contract of a Qatari company to develop an upscale hospitality project on the Syrian coast is being terminated.


Official Syrian media outlets have been increasing their reports lately on the economic benefits brought by the Government to the southern governorate of Suweida where political tensions have been rising lately.


Syria’s air transport regulator confirmed that its revenues declined significantly last year as most international airlines rerouted away from Syrian airspace.


The Tartous Port has reported a decline in bulk trade last year, while containers traffic increased.


The Syrian government has established a university in Tartous, the seventh such institution to be established in the country.


Syria’s citrus fruits crop has increased by some 20 percent on an annual basis.


General trade


Syrianair transported more than 20,000 passengers on its international flights last month, official data show.


A Syrian court of appeal has confirmed the condemnation of Syrian-French investor Jacques Saadé to pay a fine of USD 600 million.


Sales of the General Organization of Tobacco, a state monopoly that usually generates significant revenues for the Treasury, reached SYP 25 billion in the first nine months of the year, as the company seeks to produce cigarettes under license from a Russian group.


Syrian exports partly recovered during the first three quarters of this year, while Iran has become the country’s first supplier of goods, official data show.


The few large private sector investments still being established in Syria remain concentrated in the coastal area and around Damascus, data from a licensing body shows.


Cham Wings, a Syrian private charter airline, said that it began last week its first flight on a domestic route.


The Syrian President has issued a decree nominating five new Governors in Lattakia, Tartous, Aleppo, Idlib and Quneitra.


The election held last week at Syria’s chambers of industry saw the arrival of various new faces.


Trading and contracting


Al-Baraka Bank Syria will be the latest company to see its shares listed in the Damascus Securities Exchange.


Wael Halqi, the Syrian Prime Minister, inaugurated last week several upscale retail and tourism projects in Tartous worth a combined USD 100 million amid an outcry from regime supporters.


Occupancy rates in hotels in the coastal area were high during the summer season and in September according to the Chairman of Syria’s Federation of Chambers of Tourism.


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