With the opening of Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway by the Syrian government forces, traders and the interested in the economic issue in the city of Aleppo are optimistic about activating the trade movement in Syria in general and in Aleppo in particular.
Traders and observers expect that Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway will link the Syrian north with its south and contribute to revitalizing the internal economic movement between the Syrian governorates, especially as industrial wealth, fertile areas and industrial cities are distributed on both sides.
On Tuesday, the Syrian government forces took full control over the entire Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway amid new advances made in the de-escalation zones, according to a military source confirmed to North-Press.
Before the Syrian crisis, the city of Aleppo was considered as the main artery for trade between the countries neighboring Syria, and the heart of the Syrian industry in all its fields.
Traders in Aleppo began preparing for the post-Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway opening with the start of the military operation that the Syrian government began in mid-January in Idlib and Aleppo countryside.
Mesbah Mossalli, a trader and an industrialist from Aleppo told North-Press that the opening of Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway will enable all the traders, businessmen and industrialists in Syria to activate the labor and industry and to export the Syrian products into the neighboring countries as was the case previously.
Mossalli confirmed that the Syrian markets will witness a significant decrease in the prices of all products after shortening the road length from 9 hours to 4 hours, allowing the traders to come to Aleppo to import the products and ship them in a faster way.
Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway is about 432 km long, which is considered as an essential road for import and export, which connects the most prominent cities of Syria to the economic capital, Aleppo in the north passing through Hama and Homs in the center, then the capital, Damascus and Daraa in the south to the Syrian-Jordanian borders; therefore, it acquires great economic importance.
Engineer Omar Ezzat, the director of the Office for Organizing the Transport of Goods in Aleppo believes that the opening of Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway is an essential step for opening the trade spring artery between the Syrian governorates from the north to the south of Syria, which gives a comfortable flow of the movement of cargo transport.
He said: "The repercussions of securing the highway will be positive on the transport fares after dispensing with the passage through alternative and long roads, in addition to opening other ways to export and import products to and from the neighboring countries.”
The Syrian government forces are currently working to secure the two sides of the highway from the western part, where the strikes of the Syrian government forces are concentrated on Khan al-Assal, according to a military source told North-Press.
The member of Aleppo Chamber of Commerce, Adel Hisham said in an interview with North-Press, that completing the securing of Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway will revive the agricultural, industrial and tourism sectors in the country.
Hassan Hazouri, a professor in economics at the University of Aleppo, told North-Press that opening the M5 highway is necessary to re-develop the Syrian economy again after these difficult circumstances that the state treasury went through, which encourages traders in other countries to come to Syria to invest and buy the Syrian products.
What increases the expectations of specialists on the impact of the M5 highway is the opening of Naseeb border-crossing with Jordan in mid-October 2018, as well as the possibility of the Syrian exports and transit traffic reaching Egypt and other international markets in greater quantities and at a lower cost than the air and sea freight used during the previous period.
Medhat Suleiman, a professor in economics at the Department of International Economic Relations at the University of Aleppo, stated that the opening of Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway is not only important to Syria, but it is very important for the neighboring countries as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan in order to exchange the goods between them through the transit of goods and the use of the transit roads via Syria.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Erdogan agreed in Sochi in last September to reopen the M5 highway, before the events of the recent battles in Idlib and Aleppo countryside that led the Syrian government forces to control the M5 highway by the Russian aerial support.