In a previous blog post, I presented some of the harsh economic realities of today’s Syria and highlighted the work that the Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) is doing to create a better future. On April 18, CIPE hosted a panel discussion on the “Role of the Private Sector in Syria’s Future” at its Washington headquarters to explore the challenges of reconstructing and rehabilitating the country and the solutions the business community is uniquely placed to provide.
The event featured Ayman Tabbaa, Chairman of the Syrian Economic Forum (SEF); Dr. Samer Abboud, Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Arcadia University; and Faysal Itani, Fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. CIPE Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Abdulwahab Alkebsi moderated the discussion.
Ayman Tabbaa, a businessman himself, emphasized that Syria’s economic woes are a product not only of the ongoing war which has ravaged the country over the last two years, but of failed social market policies over the last decade. Future economic policies must be grounded in the rule of law and encourage the growth of small and medium sized enterprises in order to bring prosperity to the country.