- Business Relationships
- FTAs and Treaties
- Development Cooperation
- Prospective fields of study (MOP)
Trade relations with the EU
In connection with the introduction of the EU sanctions regime, the volume of bilateral trade has significantly decreased in recent years. Nevertheless, the EU is Syria’s largest trading partner, accounting for 8.7% of the country’s total international trade in goods in 2020. In contrast, Syria is the EU’s 136th trading partner. Total trade in goods between the EU and Syria in 2020 was €393 million. Imports into the EU from Syria are generally very low. In 2020, they reached only EUR 61 million and were dominated by agriculture and raw materials (EUR 47 million, 77%). EU exports to Syria amounted to EUR 332 million. Agriculture and raw materials (EUR 107 million, 32.2%), followed by chemicals (EUR 86 million, 25.9%) and machinery and means of transport (EUR 62 million, 18.7%) were traditionally at the forefront. Two-way trade in services totaled EUR 642 million in 2019,
Trade exchange with the EU (million EUR)
|Exports from the EU (million EUR)||642.4||597.7||332.2||ON||ON|
|Imports into the EU (million EUR)||102.7||58.6||61.0||ON||ON|
|Balance with the EU (million EUR)||-539.7||-539.1||-271.2||ON||ON|
Source: European Commission
Trade relations with the Czech Republic
The volume of trade between the Czech Republic and Syria continues to be affected by international sanctions. The currently realized business does not correspond to the potential that the Syrian market represents. The import of goods from the Czech Republic to Syria reached a volume of EUR million in 2020, which is a year-on-year decrease of approximately EUR million. In contrast, imports from Syria are negligible and amounted to approximately 300,000 EUR. There is currently no mutual exchange in the area of services.
Trade exchange with the Czech Republic (million EUR)
|Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK)||0.1||0.1||0.1||ON||ON|
|Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK)||0.0||0.0||0.0||ON||ON|
|Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK)||-0.1||-0.1||-0.1||ON||ON|
FTAs and treaties
Treaties with the EU
Bilateral relations between the EU and Syria are governed by a cooperation agreement signed in 1977, but currently suspended on trade in oil, petroleum products, gold, precious metals and diamonds. Syria and the EU have negotiated an association agreement. However, the signing of the association agreement between the EU and Syria was suspended by the EU due to the internal political situation in Syria, and the legal regulation of the agreement gradually became obsolete. In addition, the EU has introduced a strict sanctions regime against Syria, which has a significant impact on bilateral trade.
Contracts with the Czech Republic
Agreement on the avoidance of double taxation The agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the Syrian Arab Republic on the prevention of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion in the field of income tax was signed by the Ministers of Finance Miroslav Kalousek and Muhammad al-Hussein on 18 May 2008 in Damascus. It became effective after the exchange of ratification documents on November 12, 2009. The notice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic on the negotiation of the treaty was published in the Collection of International Treaties under No. 115 (volume 46) on December 7, 2009.
Agreement on Support and Protection of Investments The Agreement on Support and Mutual Protection of Investments was signed by Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousko and Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdullah al-Dardar on November 21, 2008 in Prague and entered into force on July 14, 2009. The agreement was published in the Collection of International of contracts under No. 62 (amount 29) on August 14, 2009.
In 2020, the Czech Republic continued to provide humanitarian aid and development assistance in Syria. Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, which was implemented for 2020 as part of the extension of the government program “Provision of humanitarian, development and reconstruction assistance to Syria in 2020-2021”, the implementation of 3 small local projects and 3 projects of tied cash donations was completed. Humanitarian projects implemented by Czech NGOs focused on supporting the return of refugees and the internally displaced population, improving the quality of health care and education in hard-to-reach locations, and providing material assistance to the most vulnerable families. The development assistance projects aimed primarily at the supply of medical equipment and materials, especially from Czech manufacturers, to individual medical facilities (Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Homs, etc.
Prospective fields of study (MOP)
ZÚ Damascus below specifies perspective sectors worthy of consideration by Czech exporters in Syria, regardless of the international sanctions that are imposed on the Syrian regime (note: for basic orientation below we provide links to consolidated versions of EU regulations governing the sanctions regime – binding decisions of the Council 2013/255/CFSP, as amended, Council Regulation (EU) No. 36/2012, as amended, regulations available here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/CS /TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02012R0036-20170927&qid=1517237167317&from=EN Further information on the implementation of international sanctions can also be found on the website of the Financial Analytical Office of the Czech Republic here: http://www.financnanalytickyurad.cz/mezinarodni-sankce. html
Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry
More than half of the country’s health facilities are completely out of order or only partially functional. Hospitals are facing critical shortages of drugs, medical supplies and equipment. Domestic production of medicines fell sharply as a result of the war, and current production is far from sufficient to cover demand. The demand is defined by the interest in technologies and know-how for the production of medicines and vaccines, medical equipment and devices, surgical instruments and aids, hygiene material, medical furniture.
Agricultural and food industry
The long-term war conflict has had a negative impact on the entire infrastructure – warehouses of agricultural raw materials, agricultural machinery (tractors, sowing, harvesting, tillage machines), veterinary clinics, processing plants, irrigation systems, wells, etc. have been destroyed. Syrian agriculture is currently affected by a significant lack of artificial fertilizers intended for cereals. Equipment for the meat industry, dairies, machinery for industrial food production, filling, packaging and labeling lines, genetic material for breeding farm animals and freshwater fish is also in demand.
Water management and waste industry
The essential needs of Syria include the provision of drinking water while supplying the population from local water sources, the restoration of irrigation systems, and the renewal of the introduction of modern waste management procedures. In Syria, there is a great demand for drinking water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants – industrial and sewage. Regarding waste management, municipal waste incinerators, recycling facilities, technologies for processing waste with output as a by-product or other raw material for other production will be applied in the Syrian market.
One of the main priorities is ensuring the supply of electricity. Reconstruction energy projects are almost exclusively claimed by the Russian Federation and Iran. Damaged production and transmission infrastructure requires in many cases complete restoration or modernization of existing, partially damaged operations. Demand is focused on the construction of power plants (including RES), the renewal of existing operations generating electricity. electricity, renewal of the transmission system, modernization of existing power units, subcontracts for gas and diesel power plants.
Mining, quarrying and oil/gas industries
The gradual increase in stability in the country is reviving mineral extraction. Oil production currently ranges from 15,000 to 16,000 barrels per day, which is a mere fraction of the total production compared to the period before the crisis in Syria. Further growth in the extraction of this commodity is expected in the coming period. Mines were also opened for the extraction of phosphate. The increase in mining performance depends on the level of processing operations, transport capacities (rail transport, product pipelines, ground transport), etc. The interest is in surface mining machines, mining excavators, crushers, drilling machines, combines, bowls, sorters, conveyors, industrial elevators, excavators, cranes, pipelines (oil and gas pipelines), pumps, trucks.
Rail and rail transport
The rail infrastructure was severely damaged during the war. Industrial sectors are feeling the effects of insufficient rail freight transport in connection with the problematic transport of mineral raw materials. To a considerable extent, the entire freight transport infrastructure needs to be renewed – locomotives, wagons, signaling and security equipment, telematics. Tenders are currently being announced by the Syrian authorities for the supply of rails, switches, spare parts for locomotives (the local railway carrier uses 21 LDE CKD (diesel) locomotives. Most are still in operation. They were supplied directly to the Syrian Railways from Škoda CKD in the 1980s .Syrian Railways is currently very interested in spare parts for these locomotives (it would be a bigger demand) and at the same time they showed an interest in the current offer of diesel locomotives).
This sector is experiencing rapid growth in Syria. It is estimated that the reconstruction of Syrian cities will require approximately 300-400 billion USD and will take years to rebuild. Destroyed buildings, roads, industrial buildings, public buildings, etc. often need complete reconstruction. The demand is mainly for technologies for the production of building materials (brick factories), there is also interest in modern building components – windows, insulating materials, plastic material, a good opportunity is offered for manufacturers of prefabricated prefabricated houses. Similarly, the local market offers an interesting opportunity for technology suppliers to cement plants whose current production capacity is insufficient. The need to dispose of construction debris creates a demand for crushers and sorters.
This is a sector heavily burdened by international sanctions. However, this sector is characterized by a high demand for technologies for refining petroleum products (modernization of existing refineries in Homs and Banias), and there is also interest in technologies for the production of artificial fertilizers, paints, agrochemicals and cleaning agents.
The gradual growth of business activities is also transferred to engineering fields. The market is characterized by a lack of reliable machine tools, CNC machines, fine machining machines, fittings, forming machines, welding machines.
This sector is experiencing probably the fastest recovery of its production capacities. With regard to local regulatory elements, assembly plant operations are being resumed. Individual components (body, chassis, plastics) are imported to local assembly plants mainly from China and Iran. Machine tools, presses, and welding machines are in demand. Demand is also driven by a shortage of trucks and tractors.