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Bilateral economical relations

Review of the Czech-Syrian economic and business relationship:

          Diplomatic relations, together with official business contacts, between the former Czechoslovak Republic and Syria were established soon after World War II, i.e. 60 years ago. Since then, relations have experienced great development, both on the governmental level and directly between the Czech and Syrian businessmen and entrepreneurs. This development has been followed, subsequently, by concrete results expressed by the attained trade volume.

          The Czech Republic, and until just a few years ago the former Czechoslovakia, has contributed to the industrialisation of Syria. Among capital goods invested with the Czech participation, there rank among others oil refineries (Homs), thermal power-plants (Homs, Hama), production of ammonia-calcium saltpetre (Homs), four sugar refineries, a brewery (Damascus), three radio broadcasters, a tyre factory (Ilama), a distillery (Damascus), 7 grain mills, two shoe factories (Damascus, Homs), high-tension lines, an oil-processing factory (Omar), etc. Czech business entities have participated in the course of years regularly in selective procedures for contracts of technological goods in various fields.

          The Czech Republic´s foreign trade with the group of Arab countries has increased in the last decade significantly and Syria has always occupied an important place in this group. In 2005, only the United Arab Emirates and Algeria overcame the volume of the Czech-Syrian trade exchange. Over the past three years, traditional Czech Republic´s positive exchange balance with Syria has been reduced to an important deficit, which has become a challenge for our exporters.

          In spite of this, Czech exports to Syria accounted for 30 million USD in 2005. The structure of the Czech export in the last 10 years has not changed significantly. 45 % of the Czech export items is constituted by road vehicles, namely cars ŠKODA, followed by supplies of spare parts to the existing investments, followed by a variety of industrial machines, iron and steel products, particularly for railways and oil exploitation industry. There are many other possibilities to extend the list of Czech exports as well: wide range of products is offered by the Czech chemical industry. Highly competitive are our exporters in the sphere of telecomunications, electronic and information technologies.

          Czech imports from Syria have focused particularly on oil products. Other items imported from Syria are cotton, textiles and tanning products, fruits and vegetables. These products do not, however, represent the overall interest of the Czech side for Syrian products. There are also vast possibilities on the Czech market for a variety of Syrian export products. Both sides emphasise not only a necessity of further enlargement of trade exchange but especially a diversification of its items. A completely liberalised Czech market awaits Syrian partners.

          The Syrian businessmen and their professional entities are always considered a serious and perspective partner by their Czech partners throughout the whole period of relationship. Across the entire history of our relations, the principal export item has been capital goods, a fact which attests to the extent not only of trade but also the correct forms of co-operation. The Czech side has always appreciated that the mutual trade co-operation has never been influenced by any trade barriers. At present, both partners agree with the principles of widely liberalised trade.