WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters): Syria needs to overhaul its economy before its supply of oil runs dry, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.
In an annual health check of Syria's economy, an exercise the global lender conducts with each of its members, the IMF said high oil prices and exports would power output in 2005 but warned of dangers to come.
"There is a risk that oil reserves will be exhausted before the ongoing reforms have had time to generate new sources of growth and income," the fund said in the regular review.
"If this risk were to materialise, Syria might get locked in a cycle of financial volatility, fiscal deterioration, low growth and rising unemployment."
Oil makes up a fifth of Syria's gross domestic product, two thirds of its exports and half of government revenues. The IMF said the country's reserves will likely run out in the late 2020s, and Syria may become a net oil importer in a few years.