Event Reports

Workshop on Actors, Policies and Obstacles to Economic Recovery in Syria

Omran Centre for Strategic Studies and KAS Organized a Workshop on Early Economic Recovery in Syria

Following the territorial defeat of the Islamic State and with the armed conflict coming to a relative halt in Syria, policy discussions are focusing on the options for early economic recovery in the country. The Syria/Iraq Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Omran Centre for Strategic Studies thus decided to organize a workshop to assess the economic state of the different zones within Syria and the economic engagement of various actors in the country, as well as to develop a framework for an early economic recovery that takes the interests of regional and non-regional actors into account.

The workshop took place on April 24th and 25th in Beirut, and was attended by over 20 researchers and experts from Europe, US, Russia, Turkey and Syria. The workshop served to create a Syrian-led platform where the economic issues of early recovery were discussed with regards to political and security concerns, as well as to local, regional and international actors’ interests. Four research papers were presented from the authors and discussed with the other experts participating in the workshop. The first day was devoted to portraying the different perspectives and strategies international actors have concerning early economic recovery policies in Syria. On the one hand, Turkey and Russia seem willing to engage more in Syria, while European countries, on the other hand, defend the position that no reconstruction is possible unless a durable, long-term and comprehensive political process is put in place, which takes the interests of all of Syria’s ethnic and religious groups into account. The panels on the second day were mainly aimed at providing a framework of potential economic policies to facilitate early economic recovery for the Syrian people, with a focus on local capacities and markets. The experts also tried to assess the regime’s current ability and will to rebuild the regions under its control. One of the main issues discussed throughout both days was the necessity to establish trade relations and to keep a common ground for future reunification between the three different zones of control within Syria. ​​​​​​​

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Laure-Maïssa Fargelat

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