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SYRIA: Crisis may hurt economies of the Region (Saif)

We have been documenting the human cost of the crisis in Syria, and beyond, but in the end, the economic cost of the Arab Spring may be a major driving factor in social and political change in the region. Ibrahim Saif, an analyst with the Carnegie Middle East Center, writes on the LA's Times blog, Babylon & Beyond:

Current events in Syria are expected to impact other states economically, especially neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. The first potential effect is on bilateral trade between Syria and its neighbors. Turkey comes to the fore here, since its trade to and from Syria was valued at $2.27 billion last year.

The situation in Syria affects Turkey in two ways. The first is the potentially large drop in trade volume, especially since demand for imports and Turkish commodities –- which used to be high –- has dropped sharply since the beginning of the events. Some sources estimate that trade volume has dropped between 30% and 40%, and that these percentages could drop even lower with the expiration of prior arrangements and the continued state of chaos...

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