Industry hits neighboring walls. Syria’s import ban includes foodstuff products, exempts fruits and vegetables - Lebanon

Industry hits neighboring walls
Syria’s import ban includes foodstuff products, exempts fruits and vegetables
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The President of the Association of Industrialists in Lebanon (ALI), Neemat Frem, said that the upshot of Syria’s ban on the import of some commodities would harm local industries. He said that the Syrian ban has also overlapped with trade difficulties with Iraq.

According to figures released by the Customs Administration, exports to Syria accounted for five percent of the total exports during the first eight months of the year. The value of Lebanon’s exports to Syria amounted to $134 million up until August 2011. In 2010, the value of imports into Syria was $221 million, a five percent growth from the previous year.

Syria announced, last week, a temporary suspension on imports of products, from all countries, that are subject to tariffs of more than five percent, excluding only basic supplies that are not manufactured locally. According to Syrian officials, this is a precautionary measure to protect the country’s currency reserves, which are currently more than $17 billion. Syria’s Ministry of Economy and Trade then issues, on Wednesday (September 28), a list of exemptions from its former decision to suspend imports of some commodities. The new law allowed the import of clothes, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Frem said that the Syrian import ban “would affect most Lebanese exports, mainly foodstuff products, electromechanical appliances, and cement.”
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Date Posted: Sep 30, 2011