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Syria: Industry
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Industry


Manufacturing, other than that represented by traditional handicrafts, textiles, and animal-powered flour mills, is a postWorld War II addition to the Syrian economy. Requirements of Allied Forces stationed in Syria during the war and shortages of imported goods for local consumption stimulated industrial development, and wealthy merchants and landowners channeled resources into industrial expansion. Factories established in the 1950s and 1960s processed local agricultural goods and manufactured a wide range of light consumer products. Although the nationalization measures of the 1960s disrupted privately financed industrial expansion, in the 1970s the state embarked on a major industrial development program stressing heavy industry. Between 1953 and the mid-1970s, the growth rate of the industrial sector was 8.3 percent (in constant prices) -- a major factor in the rise in incomes and in the improvment in standards of living. Manufacturing (including extractive industries and power generation) contributed 22.4 percent of GDP in 1976 but only about 13.4 percent in 1984 as the state committed scarce resources to completing existing projects rather than to initiating new ones. The public sector dominated the chemical, cement and other construction materials, engineering, sugar, food, and various textile-manufacturing industries. The private sector, stymied by government restrictions, concentrated on certain textiles, electrical and paper products, leather goods, and machinery.

Data as of April 1987

Last Updated: April 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Syria was first published in 1991. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 68 of 138


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