Arab Today, arab today syria\s economic hardships persist in 2014
Last Updated : GMT 10:35:06
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Syria\'s economic hardships persist in 2014

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Syria\'s economic hardships persist in 2014

Damascus - XINHUA

With the start of a new year, all indicators show that the crisis-hit Syria, which underwent overwhelming economic and social hardships in 2013, will likely continue this year due to the lack of successful solutions to solve the existing problems, report said. A report issued by the "Syria Steps" economic website shed lights on a number of problems the Syrian citizens had gone through in the past year, mainly the weak economic and productive performance and its negative impacts on the national economy and living conditions. According to the report, the exorbitant prices of foodstuff and other consumer commodities in the markets are still maintaining the same level in spite of the government's repetitive confirmations that those prices have decreased by 30 percent. It said that although the government has managed to keep a stable exchange rate for several months and achieved a balance between the exchange rate in the black market and that in the Central Bank of Syria, yet the exchange rate in the black market ( currently stands at 145 pounds per dollar) is still "illogical" in light of the overall economic indicators in Syria and the global economic sanctions against the conflict-stricken country. The exchange rate, which was only 45 pounds per dollar ahead of the outbreak of the conflict in Syria, is almost nonobjective when compared to the monthly income of the Syrian citizens and the high rate of unemployment. The Syrians also suffer from the lack of oil derivatives as they still need to queue for hours in front of fuel stations to fill their cars with gasoline and strive to ensure diesel fuel, which most Syrians use for heating especially at this time of the year when the country is being hit by waves of freezing cold. The effects of the crisis have deepened and covered various spectra of the Syrian people, mainly the increasing rates of unemployment, poverty and school dropouts, in addition to the displacement of millions of Syrians from their homes and their neighborhoods, and the inability of the government to keep pace with these aggravated problems. The Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said recently that some 96 percent of Syria's needs of oil derivatives are being imported from abroad. He said that the government was seriously working to overcome all difficulties the industrialists are facing, adding that this will help improve the economic situation and secure the local market's needs of commodities and foodstuffs. The premier said that the government will focus in the next stage on the activation of small and medium enterprises. He pointed out that the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Protection is working to combat monopoly and rising food prices, stressing that the rise in prices has nothing to do with the mounting exchange rate but is rather linked to the dangers of roads and the difficulty of transporting goods, in addition to traders' monopoly for some commodities. Minister of Oil Suleiman Abbas recently said that the total amounts provided by the government of the support of petroleum products until the end of the third quarter of 2013 amounted to some 157.878 billion pounds (1.4 billion U.S. dollars). Oil sector was a pillar of Syria's economy until the outbreak of events, with the country producing about 380,000 barrels, exporting around 130,000 barrels a day and putting the rest in domestic use. Oil was accounting for around 45 percent of Syria's total exports. In 2010, Syria's oil exports were estimated at three billion dollars, while in 2013, Syria imported oil by 1.7 billion dollars in a drive aimed to meet people's needs of oil derivations.

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