Government and Currency Depreciation Take Syria Back to Bartering Era

Syrian merchants are having to exchange goods instead of receiving cash for exports

Syrian merchants and importers are suffering from many difficulties, but possibly the most problematic is the lack of cash flow and Arab League sanctions on Syrian goods.


In the past, merchants imported goods and obtained foreign currency in cash, for exchange through the Central Bank into Syrian Pounds.


Today, however, due to the depreciation of the Syrian Pound exchange rate, and because there is no clear mechanism for exchanging goods for Syrian Pounds, merchants have begun to exchange their goods with other products dmeanded in the Syrian market.


A member of Fruits and Vegetables Market Committee, Adnan Innabi, described the process as a kind of "fraud" because merchants are trying circumvent the unstable exchange rate and the complicated mechanisms to get the Syrian Pound, through bartering for imports from Egypt and Jordan.


This means that when Syrian merchants export vegetables to Egypt and Jordan, the Egyptian and Jordanian importers should pay the value of the imports. But the lack of funding mechanisms obliges Syrian merchants to buy goods that have equal values to those he exports, Innabi said.


"We told the Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection about the suffering of fruits and vegetables merchants. The minister promised to study the case and find a mechanism that guarantees the merchants will get their money, but none of the merchants has been informed about the developments so far", Innabi said during a press conference.


Innabi revealed that daily exports of fruits to several Arab countries are valued at about one million dollars, while the value of imports from Egypt and Jordan alone equal about $800,000.


Translated and edited by the Syrian Observer



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