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Lebanon seeks boost in trade cooperation with Russia

puzzle with the national flag of russia and lebanon on a world map background. 3D illustration

puzzle with the national flag of russia and lebanon on a world map background. 3D illustration

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21 April 2017

BEIRUT: The Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry in North Lebanon signed a cooperation agreement with RUARIA LLC, a Russian trade company in the framework of the Lebanese business delegation’s visit to Russia.

The new agreement aims to strengthen mutual investments covering various promising sectors in Russia and Lebanon in addition to holding negotiations about all matters that are needed to implement this agreement.

It also aims to boost Lebanon’s agricultural and industrial exports to Russian markets.

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“The two parties agreed to remove all obstacles that would hinder the implementation of the agreement in addition to activating communication between the two countries in a way that would support the deal,” a statement issued by the National News Agency said.

Alexey Abranov, head of the Russian economic committee, offered assurances on the occasion that his country as highly interested in creating business partnerships between Lebanese and Russian businessmen in a bid to establish common projects in Arab countries and in Lebanon, namely in construction, and industry as well as in oil and gas exploration.

For his part, Alexander Gogolev, head of the Russian Chapter of the Lebanese Russian Business council, said the council would work on expanding by adding new businessmen from the two countries.

“We should expand the council because it plays a big role in the development of bilateral relations between Russia and Lebanon,” he said.

Meanwhile, Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan met with the Russian services minister to discuss the possibility of exempting Lebanon from custom fees as it is the case with other countries partnering with Russia in the trade area.

“Lebanese exports to Russia will increase if both parties are convinced that it is in their mutual interest to improve economic and trade relations,” Hajj Hasan said.

A high-ranking Lebanese delegation paid a visit to Moscow beginning of this week in a bid to increase the volume of trade and attract Russian investments.

The delegation was composed of the economy, trade, industry and tourism ministers as well as the president of the Beirut Chamber of Commerce, the chairman of Bank of Beirut, the CEO of Cedrus Bank and a number of businessmen.

Earlier during the delegation’s visit, Hajj Hasan urged Russia to facilitate the entry of more Lebanese-made goods into the country in order to narrow the deficit in the balance of trade between the two states.

“We hope Russia would consider increasing its imports from Lebanon to at least $200 million a year in the near future. The balance of trade is not in Lebanon’s favor. We exported to Russia $35 million worth of goods in 2016 while Moscow sent us $528 million,” Hajj Hassan concluded.

© Copyright The Daily Star 2017.

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