Economy, Domestic Economy

Lebanon to Raise Ties to Higher Level

Lebanon to Raise Ties to Higher LevelLebanon to Raise Ties to Higher Level

Lebanese Minister of Industry Hussein El Hage Hassan was to in Tehran on Saturday accompanied by a  delegation to discuss ways to augment cooperation in science and trade, IRNA reported.  He is scheduled to hold talks with Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Health Minister Hassan Hashemi, Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi.  Officials from Lebanese ministries of industry and trade, Bank of Lebanon and Association of Lebanese Industrialists along with representatives from the insurance, manufacturing, construction and trade sectors will accompany Hassan. Despite cordial political ties between Tehran and Beirut, bilateral trade is far from impressive. According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran exported $83.2 million worth of goods to Lebanon in the past fiscal year that ended in March, which showed a 5% rise over the year before. Meanwhile, imports stood at $30.5 million -- a 13% decline.  IRICA data for the first four months of the current fiscal year to July 21, during which period Iran exported 3,700 tons of non-oil goods worth $20.2 million to Lebanon, recording a 4% rise while importing 681 tons of goods worth $8.4 million to register a 11% drop year-on-year. Pistachios, carpet, beverages, lift trucks, faucets, baby food, dates and raisin were among the main exports. Imports chiefly included vegetable seed, corn seed, medical equipment, auto parts and cocoa powder.