Economy, Domestic Economy

Beirut Calls for Bolstering Commercial Ties

Beirut Calls for Bolstering Commercial TiesBeirut Calls for Bolstering Commercial Ties

Future trade between Iran and Lebanon needs to expand from the current few items to include all commercial products.

The statement was made by Lebanon’s Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil in his meeting with Mohsen Jalalpour, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, on Monday.

The Lebanese minister, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday at the head of a 15-member mission, added that recent years have seen a decline in economic exchanges between the two countries due to economic sanctions against Iran.

“Also, the past agreements between the two sides have yet to be fully implemented,” the ICCIMA news portal quoted Khalil as saying.

Referring to the $50-million annual bilateral trade, the Lebanese minister called for a review of the two sides’ regulations on customs and duties and stressed the importance of signing a preferential trade agreement.

“In order to ease interaction, the establishment of a direct transportation line seems to be vital,” Khalil said.

Jalalpour expressed dissatisfaction over the low bilateral trade and said despite favorable relations between the two nations and governments, their economic exchanges are far from acceptable.

“There are ample opportunities to transfer electricity to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Iranian companies can help ease the process of power plant construction, technical and engineering services,” he said.

The ICCIMA chief also saw the two countries’ shared cultural and religious backgrounds as an opportunity to expand tourism ties and called for the establishment of air and sea links between Tehran and Beirut.

Jalalpour asked Iranian and Lebanese governments to finalize the decision on establishment of a direct shipping line between the countries.

The Lebanese minister’s visit comes on the heels of last week’s trip by 26 representatives of the country’s reputable companies in food distribution, telecommunications, technology, hotels and pharmaceuticals, headed by the president of the Lebanese Businessmen Association, better known by its French initials RDCL, Fouad Zmokhol.