Capital City: Damascus
Population (Millions): 23
GDP Per Capita: US$ 4800
GDP per Sector:
Agriculture – 17 %
Industry – 16 %
Services – 67%
Big Cities (>100,000): Damascus, Aleppo, Hims, Hama
Urban Population: 56%
Languages: Arabic, Circassian, French
Background:Syria is a developing country with GDP per capita of $4,800 (2010 estimate), making it one of the poorer countries in the world. The country has a diversified economy primarily dependent on services, energy and agriculture. The unit of currency is the Syrian pound (SYP).
Syria’s economy suffers from low investment and inefficient public sector enterprises, thanks to centralised and restrictive government control. As a result, there is relatively low agricultural and industrial productivity. This is largely a legacy of socialist economic policies that the Syrian government had adopted in the 1960s.
Efforts are being made to make the economic system more efficient. Private banking was legalized in 2001. Significant reforms were made with regard to rental and tax laws.