Green corridor agreement with Russia. To facilitate exports and reduce Custom fees - Lebanon

Green corridor agreement with Russia
To facilitate exports and reduce Custom fees
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A green corridor is expected to be created to facilitate the supply of fruits and vegetables from Lebanon to the Russian Federation.

The green corridor eases the exit of the products from the Russian ports. It will also give local producers Customs exemptions and preferences in Russia.

Jacques Sarraf, Chairman of the Lebanese-Russian Business Council, said that the Russian Federation initially agreed to join Lebanon to the green corridor.

One of the main obstacles that would face exporters is the high Customs fees imposed on imported products. This concept will also lead to a reduction in the Customs fees. The green corridor concept was launched by the European Union in 2007 to enable traffic to flow more smoothly and efficiently.

Mounir Bissat, Chairman of Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries, said: “Several steps should follow this agreement related to the transfer of funds.”
Sarraf said they coordinated with local banks to facilitate money transfers in rubles.

The Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET) signed a cooperation protocol last week that aims to organize and facilitate the export of industrial and agriculture goods to Russia. Cooperation between both countries could be in different fields, including agricultural goods and grains.

Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, said: “Several exportation obstacles will be fading away due to this protocol.” He called on farmers and industrialists to start preparing themselves to penetrate the Russian market, which requires large volumes of goods.

Sarraf said: “Local exporters and companies are required to search for Russian clients, it is neither the economic bodies’ responsibility, nor the public sector’s.”

Local farmers may begin expporting potatoes, citrus fruits, cherries, peaches and apricots in the coming months. Naim Khalil, Chairman of the Importers and Exporters of Vegetables and Fruits in Lebanon Syndicate, said that they tried to export apples three months ago, but traders said that there was an oversupply in the market. He said that Russian traders do not purchase local produce, instead they offer them a trading channel to the Russian market. Khalil said that farmers refuse to sell their products in this way.

“We communicate with Russian traders and supermarket owners on a regular basis, but we have not yet signed any deals with them,” said Khalil. He said that Russian traders may find more interest in communicating with local exporters, after the signing of the protocol.

Several meetings will be conducted with shipping companies to provide sea transport to Russia at affordable prices.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: May 05, 2015