The Syrian Civil War is the largest ongoing military conflict in the world, already claiming a total of at least 167,000 lives* since civil unrest first erupted in March 2011 on the heels of the Arab Spring. Human life is one measure of a wars devastation. Today, we examine the devastation of war from an economic perspective: international trade. The disruption in Syrian trade has already lowered its ranking globally from the 88th largest exporter in 2011 to the 141st in 2015.
Humanitarian aid has partially offset some of Syria’s loss in merchandise imports. Amounting to roughly $4.5 billion in 2015, aid was almost equal to Syria's total merchandise imports that same year. These numbers should be used and considered with due caution given reporting lapses and losses that go hand-in-hand with a country in civil war.
Learn more about Syria’s trade profile and arms and ammunition trade below in today’s Viz of the Day.
The concentration index of exports estimates a country’s reliance on a limited group of commodities as its primary source of foreign exchange income. Ranging from 0 (perfect diversification) to 1 (concentrated on a single product)*, a comparison of index scores to the contribution of natural resources to GDP worldwide shows that countries that are resource-rich tend to have less diversified export bases.Last year Iraq’s export concentration index reached 0.97, driven by its export concentration in mineral fuels, namely oil. Other oil exporters—including Angola, Iran, Kuwait, and Nigeria, among others—likewise have high concentration scores....
Surveillance of national trade policies is a fundamentally important activity running throughout the work of the WTO. At the centre of this work is the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). All WTO members are reviewed, the frequency of each country’s review varying according to its share of world trade. Event Holder: World Trade Organization Source of data: WTO, the World Bank, UN
Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries' trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. All WTO members are subject to review, with the frequency of review depending on the country's size. Event holder: World Trade Organization
The WTO General Council meets as the Trade Policy Review Body to undertake trade policy reviews of Members under the TPRM and to consider the Director-General's regular reports on trade policy developement. The TPRB is thus open to all WTO Members. The current chair is Ms. Irene B. K. YOUNG (Hong Kong, China). Event Holder: World Trade Organization Source of data: Merchandise trade matrix, imports and exports of total all products, annual, 1995-2014, WTO statistical data sets, 1948-2014