Surrounded by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon as its neighbors, and situated to the west of the Mediterranean Sea, Syria is located very close to the Middle Eastern nations as well as the European continent.
Syria has primarily relied on oil exports as a source of national income. Even though its reserves have been steadily depleted, oil still constitutes roughly a quarter of government revenue. In addition to oil, cotton exports constitute around 30% of the gross revenues. Syria contributes roughly 7% to the world's share of cotton production. The quality of cotton grown and produced in Syria rivals that of the world's top cotton-producing countries like Turkey and Greece. Bolstered by its domestic supply of cotton, Syria has also created a place for itself in the export of carpets, yarns and threads. However, due its poor infrastructure and labor practices, Syria has not been able to establish a presence in the export market for finished garments.
Syria imports a variety of products mainly from its neighbors. Some of the major imports are equipment for transportation, electric powered machines, metal products, and food including poultry or livestock. Syria also imports chemicals and chemical products and inedible raw materials (excluding fuel). Known to have a large domestic need for fermented dairy products, Syria also imports a variety of cheeses from some European partners.
Recently, the Syrian government opened up the import of private automobiles no older than 2 years since the date of manufacture. These imports are strictly regulated and only permitted through Syrian ports.