Lebanon winner in trade with Syria

Trade between Lebanon and Syria rose last year to a two decade high and for the first time since 1990 Lebanon is now gaining more from the exchange then Syria according the Damascus based business newsletter The Syria Report (TSR). Syrian laborers immigrating to Lebanon and taking jobs from the locals in order to send money home have usually characterized the economic relationship between the two countries.

However, according to the editor of TSR Jihad Al-Yazigi the relationship is much more complicated. Due to the unstable political situation in Lebanon, over the years well-educated Lebanese have left their home country in order to find employment elsewhere. Many of them ended up in the Gulf but some of them found their way into Syria, and, according to Al-Yazigi, Syria would probably not be liberalizing its economy and reviving its service sector without the influence of Lebanese managers.

Al-Yazigi also pointed out that now is the time for Lebanese business people to take advantage of the opening up of the Syrian economy since the market is still relatively untouched. Geographical closeness and business know-how are both weighing in Lebanon’s favor, he said.