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Story : Syria/Neighboring Nations-Trade
File ID : 139538
Video ID : 1305496
Dateline : Apr 25, 2012
Duration : 3'14
Locations : Syria/Lebanon/Turkey/Jordan
Type : Arabic/Turkish/Nats
Source : China Central Television (CCTV)
Restrictions : Not access Chinese mainland
Pageview : 191
Summary : Internal crisis harms Syria's trade with neighboring nations
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Shotlist

Damascus, Syria - Apr 25, 2012
1. Pan down of overcast sky to cityscape
2. Mid of civilian houses
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hamid Mahmoud, economic analyst:
"Suppose the Syrian export capacity was 100 percent before the crisis, after the EU sanction it fell 33 percent to 67 percent. The sanction from Turkey further diminished the export to 60 percent."
4. Mid of street, crowded with traffic and window-shoppers, in downtown area
5. Mid of pedestrians on sidewalk
6. Mid of pedestrians looking at display at clothing store
7. Various of agricultural goods in grocery store

Lebanon - Apr 25, 2012
8. Mid of road traffic, residential buildings in background
9. Mid of cars parked near store
10. Various of banking outlets
11. Mid of AMT machine of "Credit Libanais"
12. Mid of pedestrians on sidewalk
13. Mid of currency exchange outlet
14. Close of store owner counting cash
15. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abid Fatah, Lebanese currency exchange agent:
"My business has been hard-hit. Almost all profitable industries, like tourism and logistics, has been affected. Our income lost by more than half."

Hatay, Turkey - Apr 25, 2012
16. Pan right of cityscape
17. Mid of buildings
18. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Salaq, secretary-general of the Antakya Chamber of Commerce and Industry:
"Our businessmen made a lot of preparations for the trade with Syrians, expecting a nice return during the 'honeymoon period' between Turkey and Syria."
19. Zoom out of street
20. Mid of vehicles in parking lot
21. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Omar Attak, manager of Turkish logistics company.:
"Around 200 to 300 trucks used to cross the borders on daily basis, but the number has dropped to less than 10 now."

Jordan - Apr 25, 2012
22. Pan down of building to street
23. Zoom out of clothes on display outside store
24. Mid of shopper in store
25. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Jordanian businessman:
"Some of my friends have gone to India for new supplies of goods, some go as far as Vietnam and the Philippines, just for higher profits."
26. Mid of retailers and shoppers outside store
27. Mid of worker carrying sacks of goods from truck
28. Mid of vehicles moving on road

Storyline

The year-long crisis in Syria has undermined its bilateral trade with its neighboring countries, a Syrian economic analyst said on Wednesday.

The plunging manufacturing capacity within Syria, coupled with a sanction from the European Union and other nations, has pounded the country's exports and imports, leading to an acute shortage of supplies and inflation.

"Suppose the Syrian export capacity was 100 percent before the crisis and, after the EU sanction it fell 33 percent to 67 percent. The sanction from Turkey further diminished the export to 60 percent," said Hamid Mahmoud, an economic analyst living in Damascus.

Syria used to be an important trade center between the Middle East and Europe. According to local traders, not a single car or a container of garments has been imported since four months ago.

Hatay, a Turkish province bordered by Syria to the south and east, experienced booming bilateral trade, especially after the two countries enacted a mutual visa exemption in 2009.

"Our businessmen made a lot of preparations for the trade with Syrians, expecting a nice return during the 'honeymoon period' between Turkey and Syria," said Salaq, secretary-general of the Antakya Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The cascading violence in Syria, however, has sent the booming trade into stagnation. Land crossing points between Hatay and the Syrian port of Aleppo, which remain open during the unrest, witness a 90-percent decline of transportation volume, as transport companies and drivers become reluctant to take the routes amid the ongoing violence, said Omar Attak, manager of a Turkish logistics company.

Around 200 to 300 trucks used to cross the borders on daily basis, but the number has dropped to less than 10 now, Attak noted.

Turkey saw a 16 percent decline in trade volume with Syria. Jordan, which depended on Syria for cheaper commodities and European imports, was hit harder, with a 50 percent decline last year.

"Some of my friends have gone to India for new supply of goods, some go as far as Vietnam and the Philippines, just for higher profits," a Jordanian businessman said.

The impact of Syrian unrest on Lebanon is more obvious, according to economists in the country, slowing the economic growth rate by a least one percent.

"My business has been hard-hit. Almost all profitable industries, like tourism and logistics, has been affected. Our income fell by more than half," said Lebanese currency exchange agent Abid Fatah, who has been working in a Lebanese town bordering on Syria.

Lebanon's annual exports to Syria used to range between 250 million U.S. dollars and 300 million U.S. dollars, but fell to 120 million dollars in 2011.

Finance and tourism, Lebanon's two pillar industries, have suffered great loss during the Syrian crisis.

The number of foreign tourists to Lebanon fell by 25 percent year-on-year in 2011.

Seven of Lebanon's biggest banks have reported a 17 percent decline in total assets, partially due to the currency depreciation after the Syrian unrest.

 

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