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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Bekaa exports up
A report issued by the Chamber Of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Zahle and Bekaa showed that exports with a Certificate of Origin from the Chamber reached $300 million last year, registering a four percent increase compared to 2016.
Industrial exports reached $88 million, registering an eight percent increase. The corn flakes industry topped the list of industrial exports ($11 million), followed by the carton industry ($7 million), plastic products, and canned food.
Exports of industrial machinery that is manufactured in joint ventures with foreign companies reached $14 million. Cooperation with international companies helped local industrialists tap new markets.
Agricultural exports reached $196 million, registering a three percent increase. Total agricultural exports reached $200 million last year, according to Customs. Youssef Geha, Director General of the Chamber, said: “The bulk of agricultural products were exported from Bekaa. These are the real prices of exports, because traders do not always put the real value of products in the invoices provided to Customs.”
Potatoes topped the list of exports followed by apples, and grapes.
According to Geha, new agricultural products were exported last year such as live sheep and goats, fresh fish, decorative plants, as well as avocado and cherimoya (ashta). He said that farmers from Saida and the coastline are packing their products in packaging centers in Bekaa, and exporting them with other products in the same containers.
The products were exported to 58 countries. Farmers were able to export their products to new destinations such as Malaysia, Angola, Ethiopia, and Kenya, this is due to the high quality of products which are in compliance with international standards.
Egypt was on top of the export destinations (24 percent), followed by Saudi Arabia (13 percent), UAE (12 percent), and Qatar (11 percent). Geha said that exports to Qatar alone increased by 126 percent. He said that the only areas to which exports had dropped were to Iraq and Syria due to the unstable situation in both countries.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Mar 23, 2018
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