Lebanon and Saudi Arabia seek closer trade ties

Lebanese and Saudi economy ministers have recently agreed to gradually increase economic and trade exchanges, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported.

During a meeting in the Saudi port city of Jeddah last week, Lebanese Economy and Trade Minister Amin Salam and Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim “agreed to open new channels of cooperation, search for promising and value-added opportunities in the field of economic and trade exchange, and creating a suitable investment environment between the two countries,” according to the report.

Salam said there is an excellent opportunity to revive Lebanese-Saudi relations following the recent positive regional developments.

Salam also stressed “the need for Lebanon to expedite the implementation of economic reforms and adopt a new monetary policy based on successful joint projects, which enhances investors’ confidence and encourages them to invest in Lebanon.”

Salam added that trade between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia exceeded 800 million U.S. dollars in the past decade, and the figure could double once the markets reopen and economic and trade relations return to their previous level.

“An increase in trade between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia requires a stable security situation in Syria, which is the only land crossing for Lebanon,” Salam said.

Lebanon’s relations with Saudi Arabia were strained after a decision by the kingdom on October 29, 2021 to ban all Lebanese imports after former Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi criticized the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s involvement in the civil war of Yemen. ■

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