Our View: We forecast Syrian defence expenditure to expand modestly over the next five years, reaching
USD2.2bn by 2019. This figure remains small on a global comparison - due to the Syrian economy’s
continued deterioration amid elevated levels of instability - however, as a percentage of overall GDP, the
military budget makes up a high 3.8% - reflecting the continued demand for funding of the regime’s
offensives against rebel forces. As the country does not maintain a significant domestic defence industry
(and investment into the development of local military manufacturing capabilities is unlikely to be
forthcoming amid the ongoing civil war), we expect the government to remain wholly reliant on defence
imports in coming years.
Over 2015, BMI forecast Syrian defence expenditure to reach USD2.0bn. This represents an increase of
4.7% year-on-year (y-o-y), and makes up 3.9% of overall GDP, reflecting the continued demand for funding
of the regime’s military operations against Syria’s rebel forces, which have made significant territorial gains
since the beginning of the year. That said, on a global comparison - and especially in a regional context, the
figure remains small. This is due to the Syrian economy’s continued deterioration amid elevated levels of
instability, with overall GDP forecast to contract by as much as 11.7% y-o-y over the course of 2015.