Lebanon, Iran Exploring Economic Cooperation: Minister
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Cooperation between Iran and Lebanon in various economic and business sectors will witness a remarkable increase in the near future, Lebanon's Economy Minister Alain Hakim said.
“Lebanon and Iran will invest in common projects that will contribute to stimulating real growth and creating job opportunities for the coming generations in the two countries,” he said on Tuesday following a meeting for the seventh session of the Lebanese-Iranian joint economic committee.
Hakim said that the committee has a great role to play in creating the proper framework for cooperation between the two countries, and namely when it comes to investing in common projects that will yield positive returns for Lebanon and Iran.
“During our two-day meeting, we highlighted the major projects that could be jointly implemented and which will ensure an increase in the exchange of products and services between the two countries,” he said.
After sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program were lifted, foreign countries and companies appear to be rushing to rekindle business with the Islamic Republic, which had been cut off from global trade. “The lifting of sanctions will make Iran an attractive investment destination,” Hakim said, The Daily Star reported.
He noted that Lebanon has a lot to offer in many fields, but it is also looking to benefit from Iranian expertise in various areas.
Hakim said that Lebanon has, for instance, great expertise in the banking field – mainly in the areas of risk management and international monetary security. This may enable it to help develop the Iranian banking sector. Meanwhile, Lebanon can benefit from Iran’s expertise in developing industrial parks.
Hakim said that Lebanon is looking forward to profiting from special privileges in duty-free zones in Iran.
“We would also like to see an increase in the export of Lebanese agricultural products to Iran, while minimizing customs obstacles and giving Lebanon special facilities in this area,” he said.
The minister added that the two countries can exchange expertise in the field of plastic surgery.
He said that Lebanon can also benefit from the opportunity of building more than 600 hotels and restaurants in Iran, in addition to cooperating in the field of exhibitions.
Hakim also emphasized the need to create common Lebanese-Iranian committees that would work on increasing trade while offering necessary support to businesspeople in both countries.
“We would also like to see an exchange of expertise in the energy sector by looking into future joint projects for electricity generation,” he said.
Hakim also hoped to hold more meetings in the near future to begin implementation of these measures.
At the end of the meeting, an agreement for increasing the trade volume between Lebanon and Iran was signed between the director-general of the Economy Ministry, Alia Abbas, and her Iranian counterpart.
Moreover, the meeting resulted in an agreement between Iran and Lebanon for the development of the sports sector.