Syrian war sees 40% decline of goods transit in Jordan, says customs chief

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The Syrian crisis has caused a 40 percent decrease in the transit of goods in Jordan, hitting the local economy, according to the country’s head of customs.

The difficulty of moving goods through Syria, plus the wider economic climate, have both had an impact, said Ghaleb Sarayreh, Director General of the Jordan Customs Department.


“The land trade to Turkey through Syria has been dismissed, and all these factors certainly effected the Jordanian economic growth,” Sarayreh told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

“We’re part of a world that was ravaged by a recent financial crisis and a local economic crisis, along with the Arab Spring and the events in the region, as well as the smoldering situation in Libya, Egypt and Syria.”

The Jordanian customs department’s contribution to the economy is estimated at 30 percent, Asharq al-Awsat quoted Sarayreh as saying.

Besides losing out on trade fees, Jordan has become home to millions of Syrian refugees that have fled the crisis over the past two years. The large numbers of refugees are already exhausting the camps’ capacity, but numbers are expected to rise.

“We expect that we might reach 3.5 million refugees by the end of the year,” UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres told a news conference in Geneva earlier this week, reported the Associated Press.

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