Iran and Russia are competing to put their hands on the Syrian agricultural sector, which would give them more ability to influence the economy of the Bashar al-Assad regime, and has opened the door to them taking control over important segments of the economy, as compensation for their assistance over the last years of war and from preventing it from falling.
Over the last week, the regime’s Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection reached an agreement with a number of Iranian businessmen and traders to start exporting potatoes from Syria to a number of countries.
The minister said in a statement that it had agreed to study the establishment of a joint company between the Syrian Trading Corporation and a group of Iranian businessmen to export surplus Syrian agricultural products to various countries with Iranian assistance.
Iran is also trying to reach an agreement with the Assad regime to transport agricultural products by way of sea and air from Syria abroad in a continuous fashion.
After the reaching of an agreement between Iran and the Assad regime, Russian companies are preparing to invest in the agricultural sector in Syria, according to an official in the Assad regime speaking to Al-Watan newspaper on Saturday.
The official, who was not named, told the newspaper that “the coming period will see the arrival of a number of Russian companies specialized in fruits and vegetables and food production, and will take measures for discussions with a number of government entities and private sector representatives to study the development of technologies for packaging, wrapping and varieties for export in terms of fruits and vegetables.”
He noted that the Russian companies are looking for a long-term investment in the Syrian agricultural sector and is therefore carrying out steps slowly and quietly so as to avoid making errors.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.