Syria - Economic sectors

Since the 1970s, the Syrian economy underwent several sectoral changes not common in developing countries. Industry, especially service, has developed a great deal. Agriculture remains vital to the economy despite its diminishing contribution to GDP. In 1996 agriculture employed about 40 percent of the labor force and supplied

Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Syria 20 278 70 N/A 0 1.4 1.7 0.00 20
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Turkey 111 180 286 9.2 53 1.7 23.2 8.06 1,500
Israel 290 520 318 184.0 359 24.9 217.2 187.41 800
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

necessary products to the industrial sector. The oil sector is a driving force behind Syrian industry. Crude oil exports of US$1.342 billion accounted for nearly 43 percent of Syria's total exports in 1998. The Syrian services sector also made up 49 percent of its GDP in 1997 and employed about another 40 percent of the labor force.

Since the second half of the 1990s, the Syrian economy has been undergoing a recession. According to the 2000 EIU Country Profile, the Syrian agricultural sector has suffered in the last 3 years because of rapid climate changes and severe droughts in the region. The continuing rise of crude oil prices in international markets may

promise an increase in Syria's export earnings, while service sectors such as construction, transport, and telecommunications have been steadily growing since the Gulf War in 1991.

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