Lebanon Businessnews News

Agri-food exports
to Europe surged 17 percent
Gain on Syria’s share
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Exports of agro-food goods to the European Union (EU) increased 17 percent in the first half of the year reaching €58 million ($65 million), compared to the same period last year, according to the ‘Strengthening EU-Lebanon Trade and Investment Relations’ report issued by the EU.

Agro-food exports to EU reached €86 million ($100 million) last year, almost 60 percent up from 2010.

Mounir Bissat, Secretary General of the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries, said: “Industrialists took a share from the Syrian food industries after the crisis had begun in 2011. We are able to reach clients from all over Europe, but mostly from Eastern Europe, and retain them.”

Another reason behind this surge in exports is that shipping companies focused on Europe following the crisis in Arab countries, and facilitated transportation to this region.

Industrial goods represent 78 percent of the total exports to Europe.

Agro-food goods exported to EU included potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, olives, grapes, apples, cherries, olive oil, wine, and preserved food. Bissat said that all agro industries enter Europe, excluding dairy products. “EU requests veterinarian control on all farms and factories that manufacture dairy products, which is not applied yet,” he said.

Bissat said that the EU has complicated procedures related to the certificate of origin. This adds custom fees on the products that are entering Europe. Nuts and spices are facing this problem in particular, as they are considered to be not totally manufactured in Lebanon.

Imports from the EU decreased by around five percent reaching €534 million ($600 million).
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Nov 03, 2016
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