The Syrian Expert House considers the doubling of unemployment rates, together with the ongoing decline and impending collapse of the Syrian pound, the most prominent priorities that Syrians will face during the post-Assad transition. In addition, Syria will need to respond to the security requirements in the economy within the shadow of the country’s entry into a large humanitarian crisis and disaster that it has never experienced before in its history. Therefore, specific steps were suggested by the Economic Reform Working Group to directly and gradually shift the Syrian economy toward liberalization, reduce the burden of taxation on citizens, create more job opportunities, and open the gate for investors through the implementation of investor-friendly policies. In addition, it is also necessary to put forth a specific timetable for the restructuring of the public sector, which is characterized by a severe and deep bureaucracy that obstructs any economic progress and fast and serious action to restore frozen assets abroad, and to lift economic sanctions against Syria.
For further recommendations, please see Syria Transition Roadmap.
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Dr. Osama Kadi
Dr. Osama Kadi, the team leader of this group, is the general coordinator of the Syrian Economic Task Force, coordinator of Basket 3: Economic Policies and Reforms, and head of the Syrian delegation to the Friends of Syria group for Economic Recovery and Development. He is the founder and president of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington and the president of Syrian Canadian Council. He is also president of Concordia College of Canada for Health, Business, and Technology.
He worked previously in Syria as and economic consultant with the Syrian Agency for Combating Unemployment and with the United Nations Development Program in Syria to write a future study about Syrian Development Trajectories 2025. He writes for the Al-Arab newspaper in Qatar, and appears regularly on the BBC, RCI-CBS, TV Barada-UK, and other channels.
Dr. Raed Safadi
Dr. Raed Safadi, the senior researcher for this group, is currently the deputy director of the Trade and Agriculture Directorate at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Before assuming his current position in mid-2009, he served as chief economist for the Government of Dubai. There, he led the team entrusted with redefining the economic pillar in Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2015 and with shielding the Emirate from the 2009 global economic crisis.
He specializes in the empirical and policy analysis of international trade. He has published an extensive array of books and articles covering such areas as trade and development, regional trading arrangements, tariffs and nontariff barriers, special and differential treatment, trade and environment, and the world trading system. His current research interests include globalization and labor market issues. He previously worked for the World Bank and has been a consultant for a number of governments, regional development banks, and UN agencies.