Over the past six years Syria, once a byword for proto-Soviet state control and autarchy, has opened up its economy and implemented investment laws that allow foreign companies to set up shop. But few multinational food companies have wised up to the opportunities within an emerging market of 18 million consumers. As a result, those that have dipped a toe into the water, such as France's Bel Groupe, have been able to command large slices of the Syrian market. Paul Cochrane reports from Damascus.