Event Reports

Bilateral Economic Relations in the Shadows of Conflict

In Cooperation with MEIRSS, the KAS Syria/Iraq Office Organized a One-Day Workshop on the Economic Relations between Syria and Lebanon

Economic relations between Syria and Lebanon have been both intimate and complex, with the Syrian conflict having negative effects on the economies of both countries. This workshop attended by journalists, businessmen and high-ranking political figures sought to analyze the economic relations between the neighboring countries. In particular, the event addressed the development of the economic relationship since the beginning of the Syrian conflict and tried to give an outlook on the future interdependence between Syria and Lebanon.

On the 28th of January, the KAS Syria/Iraq Office and the Middle East Institute for Research and Strategic Studies (MEIRSS) held a one-day workshop that sought to conduct an assessment of how the recent developments in Syria have affected economic relations between the war-torn country and its Lebanese neighbor. The aim was to assess the economic dependency of both countries on each other and to analyze the economic activities of the two states in the respective neighboring countries from a political perspective.

The participants agreed that the Syrian conflict has greatly affected this economic relationship. It has caused major disruptions, for instance by cutting off Lebanese producers from their export markets in the wider region, or due to the large numbers of Syrian refugees Lebanon is currently hosting. Likewise, it has led to consequential ripple effects such as capital flight from Syria to Lebanon. Now that violent conflict in Syria is slowly but steadily subsiding, it is time to both evaluate the impact of the Syrian war on the economic relations between Syria and Lebanon and assess how the new political and economic realities in Syria will affect these relations in the future. For instance, the reconstruction process will be complicated if Assad remains in power. On another note, the war economy has altered the Syrian economic landscape leading to the rise of a class of businessmen. Various challenges on different levels will need to be overcome to establish a win-win cooperation between Syria and Lebanon.

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Contact Person

Nauel Semaan

Nauel  Semaan bild

Desk Officer for Counter Terrorism and Conflict Management

Nauel.Semaan@kas.de +49 30 26996-3879