Here’s an article published today by AP on Syria’s economy opening up to the West and the rest of region as well. It seems what is happening economically in Jordan and many countries in the region, is trickling into Syria as well. This is good news, but political and social development need to go hand in hand with economic development. They all should be intertwined.
These days, with the government encouraging investment, money has flowed in from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Gulf nations, and Turkey. The government has released no figures, but observers estimate foreign investment at nearly $800 million in 2007, up 30 percent from the year before.
The openness so far has been confined to the economy. Dozens of government critics are languishing in prison. Bloggers have been jailed for allegedly posting criticism of the government, and Syria restricts access to much of the Internet, including blocking YouTube.