Iran is looking to expand its economic links with Syria, sending dozens of Iranian commercial and industrial delegations to Damascus to discuss ways to develop economic cooperation with the Syrian regime. The current situation has not, say officials, reached a satisfactory level.
Nevertheless, according to the Director-General of the Iranian Trade Promotion Organisation's Office of Arabian and African Countries, Iran's share in the Syrian market has been increasing. Farzad Pilten noted, though, that it does not exceed 3 per cent of the total market and has almost no share in the building and construction materials market.
Pilten pointed out that Turkish exports to Syria ranked first with 38 per cent market share, followed by China with 20 per cent, Egypt with seven per cent, Russia with four per cent, and India and Lebanon with just over three per cent each.
Regarding Iranian investments in Syria, economic expert Firas Shabo told Arabi 21 that Iran is working to recover what it has spent on its support for the Syrian regime. He said that Iran has secured many projects to develop roads, transportation and basic services, but their public announcement needs time, especially in light of Russian-Iranian competition in Syria.
Shabo added that he expects Moscow and Tehran to reach an agreement on the "partitioning" of the Syrian economy, with Russia getting ports, gas and phosphate investments, while Iran gets industrial, infrastructure and real estate projects.