File - Free Syrian Army fighters walk with their weapons in a damaged factory in the al-Khalidiya neighbourhood of Aleppo, September 21, 2013. (Reuters)
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Three years into Syria's war, some exporters who moved to neighboring countries to escape the violence that has devastated many businesses now want to return home.While production in Syria is running at a small fraction of preconflict levels, advances by the forces of President Bashar Assad against rebels in the past year have improved security in some areas for entrepreneurs who largely lean toward the government side.While marketing food exports as Syria struggles to feed its own population seems more like a dream than a reality, it reflects a strong desire by families who have invested their lives in their businesses to keep them going.Before the conflict, the clothing and food industries generated the bulk of Syria's export business.Even as financial and logistical problems continue to dominate, the head of the exporters federation argues that for some, there is no choice but to make it work in Syria.Manufacturers say some areas of Syria have been kept intact and are safe to operate from, including even parts of Homs, whose rebel-held Old City has been devastated.The food business, according to Sawah, is now producing around 15 percent of its prewar levels.Those who do manage to export are overcoming financing and logistical difficulties that might arise by depending on long-established business ties.
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