Plans to boost Syrian product exports to China are in motion, as revealed by Muhammad al-Hallaq, a member of the Board of Directors of the Damascus Chamber of Commerce, during a recent meeting of the Syrian-Chinese Business Council.
During the meeting, a comprehensive plan and operational strategy were formulated to increase the export of Syrian products to the Chinese market. Al-Hallaq emphasized the importance of aligning these exports with Chinese preferences and identifying products that are in demand but currently lacking in Chinese markets. These products include anise, cumin, cottonseed, essential oils, black seed, chicken legs (in substantial quantities, as they are popular and essential in Chinese cuisine), soap, laurel, bay leaf, and dried vegetables, all of which can provide added value.
The effort to boost exports is part of a broader strategy to better understand the Chinese market’s requirements and enhance the presence of Syrian products there. While there is demand in China for live agricultural products such as vegetables and fruits, exporting them directly from Damascus to China is challenging due to the extended transit times involved.
To facilitate smoother exports from Syria to China, it has been proposed to use the port of Aqaba, Jordan. This would help reduce transportation costs and circumvent the absence of a direct shipping route from Latakia and Tartous. Aqaba offers the advantages of efficient export processes and frequent, non-stop shipping.
In terms of imports, discussions have included the possibility of merchants from Damascus markets like Al-Hamidiyah and Al-Asrouniyya importing strings and toys. While importing strings is allowed, the import of toys is restricted because they are considered luxury items. However, if these toys serve as complementary components for the local toy industry, there should be no issue with their import.
Regarding export visas, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Business Council and the Chinese Embassy to expedite the visa issuance process. This agreement aims to grant visas to all industrialists, merchants, and their employees within 72 hours, with visa durations ranging from three months to a full year, providing greater flexibility for those involved in trade between Syria and China.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.