Official says Lebanese producers to increase exports to China through online shopping platform

Lebanese producers will soon be able to promote and sell their products in China through online retail giant JD.com, a Lebanese official of the country’s ministry of economy and trade has said.

Rayane Dandache, an economic policy coordinator at the ministry, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday that in collaboration with the Lebanese Embassy in China, the ministry gathered about 80 Lebanese producers through a webinar held Thursday to introduce them to an online boutique to be built on JD.com specifically for Lebanon.

Representatives of several industries including wine, fashion, cosmetics and food products took part in the webinar, where Joseph Tannous, an economic attache at the embassy, delivered a comprehensive presentation on the advantages of setting up such a boutique in China.

“The Lebanese Embassy in China has introduced this initiative since 2018 and it is finally coming to fruition,” Dandache told Xinhua, emphasizing the importance of adopting innovative ways to increase Lebanon’s exports to China.

The official said the full project is to be set up within six to eight months, and the Lebanese producers that have decided to join the project will share the cost of about 80,000 U.S. dollars during the first year.

“If we get a total of 40 companies, for instance, each would pay approximately 2,000 dollars during the first year to promote its products,” she said.

Later on, the boutique is expected to finance itself when it would be generating money, she added.

Dandache said the companies would share a payment of 65,000 dollars yearly to a third-party service provider who would be responsible for communicating with the Chinese platform, doing market analysis, media exposure, customer operations and others.

This boutique would also allow exports to China at lower tariffs, enable companies to pay lower value-added tax, and provide them with faster customs clearance which used to require up to 76 days, she noted.

Lebanese winemakers, olive oil producers, soap makers, canned food and nut producers as well as travel agencies have more than once taken part in the China International Import Expo, hoping to open a new market for their products and increase their exports to China.