Last week, Saudi Arabia and Syria formed a pact to promote trade and investment between the two countries, according to Syrian news agency SANA.
As King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia wrapped up his visit to the country, Syrian finance minister Mohammed al-Hussein and his Saudi counterpart, Ibrahim Assaf, said that the volume of trade, now only US$2bn a year, will “begin growing in the coming days”.
“We have decided to remove the difficulties hindering commercial exchanges, notably the taxes recently imposed by Syria on products exported to Saudi Arabia,” Mr al-Hussein was quoted as saying.
Relations between the two countries had deteriorated following Saudi support for 2003’s US-led invasion of Iraq and 2005’s assassination of ex-Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.
Meanwhile, Business Intelligence Middle East reported that the European Union was due to sign a partnership deal with Syria later this month.