Country - Syria
Syria Country Information
Syria is an Islamic country in the Middle East located in western Asia. Its official name is Syrian Arabic Republic. Damascus is the capital and the largest city of the country. Arabic is the official language. Syria is bordered by Turkey in the north, Iraq in the east, Jordan in the south and Israel in the south west. The western border is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea.
As per the estimates of 2018, the total population of Syria was 18.28 million with the average density of population of 118 people per square kilometer. More than 87% of its people belong to Islam. The population below the poverty line was estimated at 80.7% in 2017. The economy of the country was severely eroded due to frequent armed conflicts and civil turmoil for the last several decades. The per capita GDP (nominal) was US $2802.
Production of petroleum and the tourism industry took a major blow, more particularly between 2004 and 2012, with the dominance of ISIS or ISIL which seized large part of oil resources and wielded outrageous militancy with a mission for establishing widespread caliphate. Large scale massacre and sabotage prompted by civil war have crippled the economy of Syria to ruins. However, the country has showed some signs of limping back to normalcy in recent years.
In 2017, the major items of exports were crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits, vegetables, cotton fiber, clothing, meat, livestock and wheat. The total value of exports was US $1.786 billion. Due to low domestic production and lack of other resources and infrastructure, Syria is invariably dependent on imports. The chief items if imports for the same year were machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yam and paper. The total import bill cost the country US $5.649 billion. The trade deficit was a whopping US $3.863 billion.
Though the tourism industry was devastated in the prolonged civil war, Syria still holds places of archaeological importance like Dead City of Serjilla, Ruins of Krak des Chevaliers, remnant rubble of Palmyrene empire of 3rd century A.D., Deir Mar Musa al Habashi ancient monastery, Musyaf Castle etc.