Handbook of Research on Asian Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Asian Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten and Isabell M. Welpe

Asia is highly regarded as one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and this unique Handbook focuses on the internationalization process and entrepreneurial dynamics of small business within the continent. Using a clear and consistent style, the Handbook examines more than 40 countries in Asia and allows researchers to compare the environment for entrepreneurship, the internationalization of entrepreneurs and the state of small business in different Asian countries. The chapters are authored by well-known scholars who provide insight into how government policies have affected the internationalization of small firms in Asia.
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Chapter 35: Syria

Wafica Ali Ghoul


Wafica A. Ghoul Introduction The Republic of Syria has a surface area of 185 180 km2, and a population of 21 million growing at an average rate of 2.2 percent (2008 estimate). Damascus is the capital. Arabic is the official language. Syria’s main resources are petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, chrome, iron, manganese ores, asphalt, rock salt, marble and gypsum. Syria’s gross domestic product (GDP) is around US$41 billion. In 2007 the economy grew by an estimated 5 percent mostly thanks to the rise in oil prices, expatriates’ remittances, tourists’ receipts and growing foreign investments. Foreign direct investment rose in 2007 to US$778 million, an increase of 30 percent on 2006. Foreign direct investments originate mostly from Russia, Iran and some of the Gulf Arab countries, while Western companies remain rather cautious due to the political turmoil in the Middle East region and sanctions against Syria. Recent data show that the sectors of the economy are agriculture 23.6 percent, industry 27.5 percent, and services 48.9 percent of GDP (2007 estimates). In 2007 inflation was estimated at 7 percent, and public debt was 37.8 percent of GDP. Syria has 2.4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, hence it has recently benefited from the rise in oil prices, however it became a net oil importer of oil-related products in 2006 according to a May 2007 statement by Muhammad Hussein, the Minister of Finance who was quoted by Oxford Business Group. The same publication reported that ‘in 2003, oil accounted for 47...

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