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Syria-Industrial Development Policy

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Syria Index

Through most of the 1950s, private investment primarily fueled industrial development while the government protected public order and fostered a climate suitable for economic growth. After Syria withdrew from a customs union with Lebanon in 1950, domestic manufacturing received considerable protection from competition by imports. The government also provided investment incentives through tax exemptions and cheap credit. Although data for the 1950s were sparse and of questionable reliability, they indicated that the growth rate of industrial production was about 12 percent a year between 1950 and 1958, substantially higher growth than for the economy as a whole. OT

Between 1958 and 1965, Syria experienced an almost complete reversal of development policy. The government assumed a greater role in economic planning, and by 1965 had nationalized most of the larger manufacturing concerns. Prior to nationalization in 1965, land reform, talk of socialism, and the 1961 nationalization decrees during the union with Egypt frightened private investors. In addition, the government was unable to implement the investments included in the First Five-Year Plan. Consequently, the rate of increase of value added by industry amounted to an annual average of 4 percent in constant prices between 1958 and 1965, although other factors, particularly a severe, prolonged drought (1958-61), contributed to the slower growth of industrial output.

Through the complete or partial nationalization of 108 large- and medium-sized enterprises, the state created the nucleus of the public industrial sector in January 1965. Thirty-seven firms were completely nationalized, and the other 71 firms were nationalized to an extent varying between 75 and 90 percent; however, these semipublic firms were fully nationalized in 1970, retroactive to 1965.

After nationalization, most public sector industry was located under the Ministry of Industry and organized under four broad holding companies called unions--specifically food, textiles, chemicals, and engineering unions. Separate ministries controlled the national electric power and petroleum companies. In the mid-1970s, the national petroleum company was divided into several separate companies responsible for such particular functions as exploration and production, transport and terminals, refining, and domestic sales and distribution.

After the 1965 nationalizations, the government dominated the economy and controlled most elements affecting industrial development, including planning, investments, foreign trade, pricing, and training. The planners avoided the temptation, succumbed to by many developing countries, of constructing large, expensive prestigious industrial projects that provided only small or distant returns. Most projects were geared to the size and needs of the Syrian economy. Development emphasized natural resources (essentially oil and phosphates for export), additional capacity for processing local materials (textiles, sugar refining, and cement), and import substitution (fertilizers, iron and steel, and consumer durables). In the late 1970s and the 1980s, however, observers questioned government priorities that resulted in creation of large industries relying on import substitution. An example of domestic questioning of the government's economic management occurred at the Eighth Baath Regional Congress in 1985. The issue of a planned sugar refinery- -a prominent symbol of public sector domination of an industrial sphere--generated significant debate. Critics challenged the wisdom of the project because the cost per kilogram of processed sugar would be several times the price of imported sugar. Completed in the late 1970s with a capacity of 1.6 million tons of sugar beet a year, the plant produced an average of only 500,000 tons of sugar per year from 1980 to 1983.

Since the late 1960s, economists generally have characterized Syrian public sector industry as inefficient, with underused capacity and high production costs. A number of factors contributed to inefficiency. For example, during the political instability of the 1960s, rapid turnover of key personnel and selection of high officials and managers on the basis of loyalty rather than qualifications contributed to inefficiency. Wide swings in agricultural output because of variation in rainfall was another factor. In addition, government pricing created distortions and even undermined the basis for judging efficiency; subsidies to plants were sometimes required because retail prices were kept low for consumers. Planning was also poor. For example, a US$100 million paper mill using straw for raw material went into production at Dayr az Zawr in 1979 but operated far below capacity, as officials realized that Syria barely produced enough straw to operate the mill. Furthermore, the cement works at Tartus were forced to cut production in half, falling from 5,000 to 2,500 tons a day in 1984, as a result of construction delays in the completion of a special unit to package the cement for export. However, the Eighth Baath Regional Congress in 1985 endorsed a series of measures to correct public sector mismanagement, upgrade administrative capabilities, and revitalize the industrial sector as a stimulator of economic growth.

The shortage of skilled workers and capable managers also plagued public sector manufacturing. Because of the nationalization drive and political instability of the 1960s, Syria experienced tremendous capital flight and a substantial exodus of administrators, engineers, plysicians, and other technically skilled professionals. The shortage of skilled labor intensified in the 1970s, as Syrian professionals found higher paying jobs and increased opportunities in the Persian Gulf states. In addition, many Syrians entered government service to gain experience and soon after went to work for private industries offering much higher salaries. Moreover, vocational training institutes could not keep pace with the needs of the economy. However, the shortage of skilled workers began to improve in the mid-1980s as Syrian workers came home to escape depressed economic conditions in the Gulf states and invested accumulated capital in new enterprises.

When Assad took control of the government in 1970, he introduced important modifications of economic policy. Although commitment to state socialism, central planning, and a large public sector remained firm, Assad liberalized controls and encouraged greater private sector industry. Encouragement to the private sector that extended to both domestic and foreign investors included decreased difficulty in obtaining construction permits and licenses for machinery imports plus various tax concessions. Although private investments in industry increased in the 1970s, domestic investors remained hesitant and foreign companies even more so, despite conclusion of bilateral investment guarantee agreements with the United States and some West European countries. Observers expected private investors gradually to increase their industrial activity if the government continued its liberalization policies.

The government attempted to introduce growth in the industrial sector by assuring the private sector a greater economic role. Between 1965 and 1970, the growth rate of the index of manufacturing (excluding extractive industries and public utilities) remained at 4 percent a year, revealing the largely static condition of manufacturing. The general index for all industrial production increased by 7.8 percent a year over the same period, reflecting the importance of the expansion of oil production after 1967.

Although the results of the government initiative to stimulate private sector investment after 1970 could not be distinguished in available data from a rise in public sector industrial growth, the index for the combined output of public and private manufacturing (excluding extractive industries and public power) showed remarkable improvement between 1970 and 1976, averaging 9 percent a year. The increase in 1976 alone was 17 percent. Increased production by manufacturing derived from public sector investments and reflected increasing government development expenditures since the mid-1960s. The increase also resulted from Syria's miniversion of the oil boom in 1974 and 1975, when industrial investments rose sharply as a result of increased aid from oil-rich Arab countries. Between 1980 and 1984, however, the general index for all industrial production increased only 6.8 percent a year, while the index for the combined output of public and private manufacturing grew at 13 percent per year.

In 1985 the government embarked on another liberalization campaign to encourage increased private sector investment in the productive sectors, as detailed in the Fifth and Sixth Five-Year development plans (see Development Planning , this ch.) Although the public sector continued to dominate the economy, the private sector's role grew in the 1980s, accounting for over 30 percent of GDP by 1984. The government hoped that its liberalization campaign would further boost the private sector's contribution to GDP in the 1990s. This hope was reflected in the final communique of the Eighth Baath Party Congress in January 1985, which recommended a more market-oriented approach to solving Syria's pressing economic problems. Accordingly, the government eased restrictions on the private sector and encouraged exports by establishing more competitive exchange rates for imports (see Banking and Monetary Policy, this ch.). The April 1985 reappointment of Muhammad al Imadi, architect of Syria's economic opening in the 1970s, as minister of the economy and foreign trade, confirmed the government's desire to proceed with its liberalization program. Imadi, who had served as chairman of the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in the early 1980s, urged widespread economic reforms to improve Syria's economic performance through private sector initiatives and joint ventures between the state and private sector.

In September 1985 President Assad approved decree No. 356, which permitted importers, for the first time, to pay for raw materials, spare parts, and other industrial inputs with foreign currency earned through employment or investment outside the country. The severe foreign-exchange shortage of the 1980s, exacerbated by declining worker remittances from the Gulf states and shrinking oil revenues, frustrated industry's efforts to acquire much-needed raw materials and forced factories to shut down or significantly reduce production. The state's tight currency controls and restrictions on imports caused businesses to channel imports illegally into Syria via Lebanon and produced a drastic decrease in officially recorded imports in the 1980s. However, even the thriving "parallel economy" (or black market) did not meet industry's demands. The government continued the crackdown on smugglers, begun in 1984, and introduced reforms to decrease the time and capital expenditure required to obtain official import permits and letters of credit. Another major component of the government's mid-1980s liberalization drive involved an attempt to attract Arab and other foreign investment in Syria's tourism industry by offering a seven-year tax deferment and exemption from most foreign exchange and import restrictions.

Data as of April 1987

BackgroundFollowing World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. The new country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. In May 2007 Bashar al-ASAD was elected to his second term as President.
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Area(sq km)total: 185,180 sq km
land: 183,630 sq km
water: 1,550 sq km
note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 38 00 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 2,253 km
border countries: Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km

Coastline(km)193 km

Climatemostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
Land use(%)arable land: 24.8%
permanent crops: 4.47%
other: 70.73% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)13,330 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)46.1 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 19.95 cu km/yr (3%/2%/95%)
per capita: 1,048 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsdust storms, sandstorms
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - notethere are 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (August 2005 est.)
note: in addition, about 40,000 people live in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - 20,000 Arabs (18,000 Druze and 2,000 Alawites) and about 20,000 Israeli settlers (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 35.9% (male 3,724,770/female 3,510,182)
15-64 years: 60.8% (male 6,285,866/female 5,980,029)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 318,646/female 358,992) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 21.7 years
male: 21.6 years
female: 21.9 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)2.129% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)25.9 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)4.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)NA (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 54% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 25.87 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 71.19 years
male: 69.8 years
female: 72.68 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)3.12 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Syrian(s)
adjective: Syrian
Ethnic groups(%)Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%

Religions(%)Sunni Muslim 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%, Christian (various denominations) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)
Languages(%)Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood

Country nameconventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic
conventional short form: Syria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah
local short form: Suriyah
former: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)
Government typerepublic under an authoritarian military-dominated regime
Capitalname: Damascus
geographic coordinates: 33 30 N, 36 18 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins 1 April; ends 30 September
Administrative divisions14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah (Latakia), Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq, Halab, Hamah, Hims, Idlib, Rif Dimashq (Damascus), Tartus

Legal systembased on a combination of French and Ottoman civil law; Islamic law is used in the family court system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD (since 17 July 2000); Vice President Farouk al-SHARA (since 11 February 2006) oversees foreign policy; Vice President Najah al-ATTAR (since 23 March 2006) oversees cultural policy
head of government: Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-UTRI (since 10 September 2003); Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdallah al-DARDARI (since 14 June 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president approved by popular referendum for a second seven-year term (no term limits); referendum last held on 27 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2014); the president appoints the vice presidents, prime minister, and deputy prime ministers
election results: Bashar al-ASAD approved as president; percent of vote - Bashar al-ASAD 97.6%

Legislative branchunicameral People's Council or Majlis al-Shaab (250 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 22-23 April 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NPF 172, independents 78

Judicial branchSupreme Judicial Council (appoints and dismisses judges; headed by the president); national level - Supreme Constitutional Court (adjudicates electoral disputes and rules on constitutionality of laws and decrees; justices appointed for four-year terms by the president); Court of Cassation; Appeals Courts (Appeals Courts represent an intermediate level between the Court of Cassation and local level courts); local level - Magistrate Courts; Courts of First Instance; Juvenile Courts; Customs Courts; specialized courts - Economic Security Courts (hear cases related to economic crimes); Supreme State Security Court (hear cases related to national security); Personal Status Courts (religious; hear cases related to marriage and divorce)

Political pressure groups and leadersDamascus Declaration National Council [Riyad SEIF, secretary general] (a broad alliance of opposition groups and individuals including: Committee for Revival of Civil Society [Michel KILO, Riyad SEIF]; Communist Action Party [Fateh JAMOUS]; Kurdish Democratic Alliance; Kurdish Democratic Front; Liberal Nationalists' Movement; National Democratic Rally; and Syrian Human Rights Society or HRAS [Fawed FAWUZ]); National Salvation Front (alliance between former Vice President Abd al-Halim KHADDAM, the SMB, and other small opposition groups); Syrian Muslim Brotherhood or SMB [Sadr al-Din al-BAYANUNI] (operates in exile in London; endorsed the Damascus Declaration, but is not an official member)
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black, colors associated with the Arab Liberation flag; two small, green, five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; former flag of the United Arab Republic where the two stars represented the constituent states of Syria and Egypt; similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band; the current design dates to 1980

Economy - overviewSyrian economic growth slowed in 2009 to 2.2% in real terms as the global economic crisis affected oil prices and the economies of Syria's key export partners and sources of investment. Damascus has implemented modest economic reforms in the past few years, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating all of the multiple exchange rates, raising prices on some subsidized items, most notably gasoline and cement, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange - which is set to begin operations in 2009. In addition, President ASAD signed legislative decrees to encourage corporate ownership reform, and to allow the Central Bank to issue Treasury bills and bonds for government debt. Nevertheless, the economy remains highly controlled by the government. Long-run economic constraints include declining oil production, high unemployment and inflation, rising budget deficits, and increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, rapid population growth, industrial expansion, and water pollution.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$99.06 billion (2008 est.)
$94.26 billion (2007 est.)
$88.65 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$55.02 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)5.1% (2008 est.)
6.3% (2007 est.)
5.2% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$4,600 (2008 est.)
$4,600 (2007 est.)
$4,600 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 18.5%
industry: 26.9%
services: 54.6% (2008 est.)
Labor force5.593 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 19.2%
industry: 14.5%
services: 66.3% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)8.6% (2008 est.)
9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)11.9% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)21.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $11.23 billion
expenditures: $12.85 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)15.7% (2008 est.)
12.2% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$73.54 billion (31 December 2008)
$15.21 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$73.93 billion (31 December 2008)
$12.29 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$84.31 billion (31 December 2008)
$15.19 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Economic aid - recipient$213 million (2008 est.)

Public debt(% of GDP)25.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
32% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
Industriespetroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, car assembly

Industrial production growth rate(%)2.3% (2008 est.)

Current account balance-$791 million (2008 est.)
$402 million (2007 est.)
Exports$13.97 billion (2008 est.)
$11.75 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat
Exports - partners(%)Iraq 30.9%, Germany 9.8%, Lebanon 9.7%, Italy 6.4%, France 5.5%, Egypt 5.4%, Saudi Arabia 5.1% (2008)
Imports$15.97 billion (2008 est.)
$12.27 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper
Imports - partners(%)Saudi Arabia 11.7%, China 8.7%, Russia 6.4%, Italy 5.9%, Egypt 5.8%, UAE 5.8%, Turkey 4.3%, Iran 4.2% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$6.765 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$6.507 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$7.167 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$6.633 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Exchange ratesSyrian pounds (SYP) per US dollar - 46.5281 (2008 est.), 50.0085 (2007), 51.689 (2006), 50 (2005), 48.5 (2004)
note: data for 2004-06 are the public sector rate; data for 2002-03 are the parallel market rate in 'Amman and Beirut; the official rate for repaying loans was 11.25 Syrian pounds per US dollars during 2004-06,

Currency (code)Syrian pound (SYP)

Telephones - main lines in use3.633 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular7.056 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: fair system currently undergoing significant improvement and digital upgrades, including fiber-optic technology
domestic: the number of fixed-line connections has increased markedly since 2000; mobile-cellular service growing with telephone subscribership reaching 40 per 100 persons in 2008;
international: country code - 963; submarine cable connection to Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; participant in Medarabtel
Internet country code.sy
Internet users3.565 million (2008)
Airports104 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 2,900 km; oil 2,000 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 97,401 km
paved: 19,490 km (includes 1,103 km of expressways)
unpaved: 77,911 km (2006)

Ports and terminalsLatakia, Tartus
Military branchesSyrian Armed Forces: Syrian Arab Army, Syrian Arab Navy, Syrian Arab Air and Air Defense Forces (includes Air Defense Command) (2008)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 30 months (18 months in the Syrian Arab Navy); women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve (2004)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 5,251,875
females age 16-49: 4,966,367 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 4,360,934
females age 16-49: 4,344,895 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 213,513
female: 201,055 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)5.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Disputes - internationalGolan Heights is Israeli-occupied with the almost 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) patrolling a buffer zone since 1964; lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shabaa farms in the Golan Heights; 2004 Agreement and pending demarcation settles border dispute with Jordan; approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 1-1.4 million (Iraq); 522,100 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
IDPs: 305,000 (most displaced from Golan Heights during 1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2007)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Syria is a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; a significant number of women and children in the large and expanding Iraqi refugee community in Syria are reportedly forced into commercial sexual exploitation by Iraqi gangs or, in some cases, their families; women from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone are recruited for work in Syria as domestic servants, but some face conditions of involuntary servitude, including long hours, non-payment of wages, withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, threats, and physical or sexual abuse
tier rating: Tier 3 - Syria again failed to report any law enforcement efforts to punish trafficking offenses in 2007; in addition, the government did not offer protection services to victims of trafficking and may have arrested, prosecuted, or deported some victims for prostitution or immigration violations; Syria has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)
Electricity - production(kWh)36.5 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 57.6%
hydro: 42.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)27.35 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)1.4 billion kWh (2007)
Oil - production(bbl/day)426,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)256,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)155,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)58,710 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)2.5 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)6.04 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)6.18 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)240.7 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSfewer than 500 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 200 (2003 est.)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.6%
male: 86%
female: 73.6% (2004 census)

Education expenditures(% of GDP)3.9% of GDP (1999)

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