Syrian mineral deposits consist mainly of petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, salt and asphalt. Mountain areas contain some coal, iron ore, copper, gold and lead, but these are in small quantities.
Early industrial activity in Syria was based on the processing of agricultural products, but this changed in the 1970s, with a governmental policy of rapid industrialization, when tariffs were raised on imported consumer goods. As a result industrial output increased dramatically, particularly in such areas as iron and steel and the annual growth rate is now more than 10%. Fertilizers, chemicals and the assembly of domestic appliances, such as refrigerators and televisions now form part of Syria's industrial program.
The major manufacturing industry in Syria is the production of cotton and silk textiles. Cement production is also important and growing industries include glass, soap, flour, vegetable oil and tobacco.
Annual production of petroleum products is about 10 million metric tones.
Electric power supply is a continuing problem in Syria and most places are without power for up to four hours per day, despite the completion of a large hydro-electric plant at the Euphrates Dam in the late 1970s.
About 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) come from industry.