SOCHI, October 10. /TASS/. The trade turnover between Russia and Syria soared 42% in seven months of 2017 year-on-year to $192.8 mln, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at the 10th meeting of the permanent Russian-Syrian commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation on Tuesday.
"The trade turnover between Russia and Syria increased almost 42% in January-July of 2017 compared with the same period last year to $192.8 mln, particularly, exports (from Russia) soared by more than 50% to $191 mln," he said.
According to Rogozin, Syria’s exports only amount to around $2 mln. "This is mainly related to the lack of necessary infrastructure for exports and commissioning of local agriculture produce, which makes it economically unviable to supply Syrian vegetables and fruits," he said, adding that the plan is to create a closed loop to grow, pack, store and export Syria-made vegetables and fruits to Russia in the near future.
Rogozin expects that Russian business will play an active role in economic recovery of Syria.
"We are now stating that time comes for economic restoration and expect that Russia’s business will take a most active part in this process," the deputy prime minister said.
Russia and Syria will launch a direct shipping line, according to Rogozin.
"Direct shipping line between Russian and Syrian ports is being created in parallel," Rogozin said.
The agricultural goods are transported by the Oboronlogistika company, which is "interested in extending the services," he said.
Rogozin added that he had an extensive conversation with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, who co-chairs the permanent Russian-Syrian commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. The politicians discussed key issues on which Syria’s viability in the post-war period depends. "An understanding was reached practically on all aspects," Rogozin said.