‘Economic rebound of war-torn Syria takes 30 yrs’

'Economic rebound of war-torn Syria takes 30 yrs'

An expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations has warned that the foreign-hatched war on Syria has hit its economy so badly that the Arab country requires 30 years to reach its pre-war GDP.
Even at an annual growth rate of five percent, which seems extremely optimistic, it would take Syria 30 years to get back to its pre-war GDP, according to Jihad Yazigi’s report.
After three years of war, the country’s poverty and unemployment rates are both over 50 percent, deficits have climbed by over 10-fold, and foreign exchange reserves are dwindling.
Yazigi writes of the emergence of a parallel “war economy”: “As security has collapsed, an informal economy comprising looting, kidnapping, and smuggling has become an important source of income. Entirely new business networks, often illicit, are emerging and new groups and individuals are being empowered at the expense of the traditional business class.”
He singles out the country’s northeastern region, home to significant agricultural and energy resources, which has now “developed an economic life of its own with the development of a particularly buoyant oil trade and the enrichment of a new class of tribal and rebel leaders.”
The more troubling aspect of this, he writes, is that “significant sectors of the economy now live and thrive off the conflict, creating a growing pool of individuals and groups that have no interest in seeing the conflict end.”
While it will take Syria decades to recover from the human and economic costs of this foreign-hatched war, there are, as always, some people who are making out very well.
The defense consultancy IHS Jane’s estimates that some 10,000 insurgents are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda terrorist enterprise such as al-Nusra Front, and the rest fight for various other foreign-backed militant groups.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

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