Fruit and vegetable sellers in the Jordanian city of al-Ramtha said that Syrian vegetables and Lebanese fruits are arriving daily on the border between al-Ramtha and Daraa at low prices, to the extent that some sellers have switched to solely Syrian goods.
The Nasib Border Crossing was opened on Oct. 15, 2018, after being shut for three years by the Jordanians after the Syrian opposition took control of it.
The Jordanian Al-Ra’i newspaper quoted one vegetable seller as saying that the Syrian market in al-Ramtha has been revived after the reopening of the border crossing, having suffered from stagnation as a result of the three-year closure.
One trader told the same paper that they were bringing fruits and vegetables at cheaper prices than in Jordan because of the difference in the price of Syrian currency, which remains as it was before the Jordanian-Syrian border opened.
Traffic at the border is still limited to travellers from Jordan to Syria and the reverse, and Syrian commercial goods have not entered al-Ramtha’s markets yet, according to the head of the al-Ramtha Chamber of Commerce, Abdel Salam al-Dhiabat.
Some Syrians are apprehensive about the rising prices for Syrian goods and commodities, particularly fruits and vegetables, as a result of the demand for them on the Jordanian side, following the reopening of the border, due to the price differences between the two countries.
Responding to these fears, an official source in the regime government’s Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection said that “the Syrian markets are saturated with various goods and at varying prices.”
Social media recently witnessed a campaign of criticism directed at what was occurring at the crossing in terms of allowing Jordanians to enter without restriction, while heavy restrictions are applied on Syrians who want to enter into Jordan.
Official regime and pro-regime media has focused its coverage of the Nasib Border Crossing and what followed on the political dimensions of the incident and the lifting of the reigme’s isolation, while the economic dimensions have been absent. Most reports have not addressed the impacts on the Syrian market or the concerns of citizens who want tangible positive change for the market but are now afraid of an increase in future prices if the situation continues as it is, and of the withdrawal of goods to Jordanian markets without there being a similar movement from the other side.
The Nasib Border Crossing was opened in 1997 between the Syrian town of Nasib in Daraa province and the Jordanian town of Jaber in the al-Mufraq province. Regime forces and allied militias with Russian support were able to retake the crossing in July.
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.