Lebanese gains from Syrian rebuilding may be limited

Monday, July 1, 2019

Subject

Lebanese plans to gain from Syria's reconstruction.

Significance

Lebanon has promoted its northern coastal city of Tripoli as a potential gateway to Syria, the border with which lies just 30 kilometres north of the town. Beirut hopes for a major economic boost from the flow of goods and materials through Tripoli’s port and on into Syria. However, there are obstacles to this initiative, including Tripoli’s Sunni-majority demographic make-up and its lack of capacity to add value to imports.

Impacts

  • Where possible, the Syrian government will favour local ports and companies.
  • Tripoli's potential gains will focus on the port and associated services through increased custom and possibly infrastructure development.
  • Some benefit could come to the furniture industry in northern Lebanon.
  • Political settlements in Syria’s north-west will be controversial and may re-ignite Sunni-Shia conflict in Tripoli.
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