Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Syria displaced revive coastal economy  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 22/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) A massive influx of displaced families, mainly from Aleppo, to Syria's coast has boosted Latakia, a city whose economy heavily relied on its port and summertime tourism before the war.

"People here on the coast are more relaxed," said Haytham Ahmad, who heads Latakia governorate's media office.

"We like to get up late, sip our coffee and smoke our nargileh (water-pipes) before we go to work. But people from Aleppo can't live if they aren't working from morning till night," he said.

Latakia's population has doubled with the arrival of a million people fleeing violence in the northern city of Aleppo, Homs in central Syria and Idlib in the northwest.

The loyalist province has remained mostly untouched by Syria's three-year war, and unlike the rest of the country, its economy is booming.

"There is a real economic boom. (The displaced) have got things moving, and the jobless have found work," said Sami Sufi, who heads the province's chamber of commerce and industry.

"People from Aleppo have a knack for business, and they've headed out to the nearby countryside to set up detergent, cosmetics and even food packaging factories," Sufi added.

Food, cheese and cable-making workshops have also sprung up on the outskirts of Latakia, where rent is cheaper.

An Aleppo-born merchant who realised there was only one man in Latakia selling kaak, or traditional Levantine sesame bread, set up his own business. He now produces kaak in large quantities and distributes the delicacy throughout the province.

Even Aleppo's famed olive oil-based soap-makers have found their way to Latakia, and they are now exporting their produce to the United States from the Mediterranean port city.

Abandoned for years, the industrial zone is now buzzing with activity, as textile, metal and mechanical workshops have filled the space out entirely.

Hassan Shobak, who produces tanker trucks, was the first to set up shop there, after he shut down his 4,000 square metre (43,000 square foot) factory in Aleppo at the start of 2013.

"We gave life to this empty place. Today, I have four workshops, and there isn't a single metre (yard) available, even as the owners raise the rent," said 46-year-old Shobak, who employs 40 workers and sells his goods both within Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world.

"If the municipality gives us more space, we could set up a huge factory like in Aleppo. I am sure many industry owners who closed down their businesses because of the crisis would come here," Shobak said.

- 'We love to work' -

Aleppo was once Syria's economic hub, until it became consumed by violence after a major rebel onslaught in July 2012 that has split the city into opposition and regime-held territories.

Several districts of the ancient city have been reduced to rubble by heavy bombing and fighting, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

People displaced from other parts of Syria have also sought refuge in Latakia.

Businessmen from Homs focus primarily on solar energy production, while those from Idlib concentrate on mechanics and electronics.

Latakia city's commercial district has also become intensely vibrant thanks to the influx.

Omar Summak used to make hummus -- the Levant's favourite chickpea-based dip -- in the east of Aleppo. But when his city became a war zone, he put his family in his pickup truck, and they made their way to Latakia.

Once he reached the coast, the 30-year-old started out by selling vegetables.

"But after passing through Anana street, I realised no one was selling accessories and trinkets," said Summak, standing in front of his truck, which he had filled with brightly-coloured bracelets, plastic necklaces and earrings.

Prior to the war, Latakia's economy would thrive during the summer, thanks to the inflow of tourists.

Now, beach resorts have become home to displaced families.

Some 600 villas near Blue Beach, in the north of Latakia, have been full for two years, despite soaring rental prices.

Sitting on the beach with his two wives and eight children, 35-year-old Mohammad Sankar says he left Aleppo nearly two years ago.

"We love to work and do business. Look at me, I left my city because of the security situation, and 10 days after I arrived I reopened my sweet factory here," Sankar said.

The businessman has also teamed up with a Latakia native to set up a sausage factory.

"Business is good, but of course, should the army retake Aleppo, I will return. I love Syria but my heart is still in my city."

The downside to the influx, said Daad Juni, a 45-year-old shop attendant, has been the massive increase in prices.

"Prices have doubled since they (the displaced) came -- including apartment and shop rental costs, and food. But we don't complain, business is very good."


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 19 2014 - Iraq to defer war reparations to Kuwait for a year, says UNThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Iraq can delay payment of a final $4.6bn in war reparations for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait because of the difficulties it faces in battling the Islamic State insurgency, ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Qatar- Leaders attend National Day paradeThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Patriotic fervour was at its zenith as the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani walked into the crowds and ...

 Dec 19 2014 - First Qatari reaches South Pole, hoists flag to mark National DayThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani became the first Qatari to reach the South Pole, where he hoisted a flag to commemorate National ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Kellogg outbids Abraaj for third time in race for Egypt's BiscoThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)   Breakfast cereal maker Kellogg Co has again raised its bid for Egyptian snack maker Bisco Misr, outbidding private equity group Abraaj for the third time and snatching the ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Impossible for Saudi to reduce oil output: MinisterThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Leading Opec producer Saudi Arabia said yesterday that competitive pressures prevent it from reducing output, and the kingdom can weather plunging oil prices.Oil Minister ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Qatar- Tower rents to face pressure on new supplyThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Qatar's office and residential rental markets remained strong during the third quarter of 2014 (Q3, 14). Offices recorded high rates across locations, with robust demand at ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Oil resumes slide after brief rebound on short-coveringThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Global crude prices fell again yesterday, a day after a short-covering rally, as traders placed new bets that the market would resume a six-month rout on worries about a ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Algeria, France to enhance security cooperationKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA))  Algerian Minister of Interior and Local Governments Tayeb Belaiz met his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve here on Thursday to discuss security ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Arab telecom. ministers wrap up 18th session in CairoKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA))  Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers on Thursday welcomed a request that the Algerian city of Constantine, 2015 Capital of Arab Culture, ...

 Dec 19 2014 - ISIL senior leadership killed in airstrikes - PentagonKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA))  The Pentagon revealed Thursday that "multiple senior and mid-level leaders" in ISIL have been killed by the US-led coalition's airstrikes since mid-November."We ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help