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Swedish exports to Syria increases despite perceived oblivion

Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Some parts of the world – mostly the western part of the world is disturbed by developments in Syria in which it is reported that scores of people are being killed.

Whether it is a western ploy to extend the Arab spring to Syria, it remains controversial because while in Sweden there was disgust recently, when Russia and China refused to support sections to the country, it has turned out that Swedish exports to the country – Syria is on the increase.

It was though that the rebellion in Syria will soon make the next one year of the President Assad's regime to become increasingly desperate. But Swedish exports to the country are not affected by the insurgency. So Assad will live large as if nothing is happening.

On Tuesday came new news reports of violence in Syria. UN agency UNICEF said that at least 400 children were victims of the troubles for the past eleven months and Gulf country’s partner organization, led by Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday condemned the "mass slaughter of unarmed Syrian people". U.S. has closed its embassy and many countries have called home their ambassadors.

But all this has not dented Swedish exports to the country as Swedish exports to Syria increased. During the first eleven months of last year, Sweden exported goods to Syria for over Skr1.2 billion, according to statistics from the Swedish Trade Council. This is slightly higher than the value of Swedish exports throughout 2010, before the uprisings in the Arab world.

Exports of pulp and paper account for more than Skr80 million, food for more than Skr50 million, but it is telecoms equipment that is by far the largest export to Syria.

During the eleven first months of 2011, exports of telecommunications equipment and other items in relation amounted to some Skr763 million, almost Skr90 million more than the same period in 2010.

Ericsson, the touch bearer of the Swedish flag is the only major Swedish company with offices in the country. The telecom company has 55 employees in Damascus, none of which is Swedish but four are non-Syrians.

"The office is still open, we monitor the security situation and keeps constant contact with the staff down there, "says Fredrik Hallstan on Ericsson's press service, adding that "the State is not such that one can conduct business as usual. "

The Company's operations are also affected by the unrest. The company has stopped supplying the operator Syriatel considered to be close to the regime.
"One of the operators in Syria is affected by the sanctions from late summer 2011 and we do not deliver to them, "says Fredrik Hallstan.

However, Ericsson continues to deliver to the other two operators, the South African operator MTN and fixed  phone company, STE.
"Our priority is to ensure that staffs are safe and help customers to keep networks open, "says Fredrik Hallstan.
By Scanomark.se Team

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