The minister of industry Vreij Sabounjian
After his meeting with the U.S ambassador in Lebanon Maura Connelly, the minister of industry Vreij Sabounjian revealed the US would now allow Lebanese products to enter the U.S markets
without any custom fees till 2013 in accordance with the terms of the preference act.
Sabounjian said “We also discussed the product exchanges between both countries. According to figures Lebanon’s imports from U.S reached $2 Billionwhile its exports to the U.S reached $61 million. We agreed on the necessity to increase the exportation from Lebanon to the U.S., especially that the U.S government ordered the American custom department to allow Lebanese products to enter without any custom fees and this measure is considered encouraging and motivating for the Lebanese industry.
He added “We discussed preparation for a visit of a delegation of Lebanese businessmen to the U.S to meet their American peers and activate a partnership together. And I took the occasion to thank the ambassador for the support that her country has given to Lebanon, especially through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which works in all the regions in the North (Al-Shamal, Beqaa, South (Al-Janoub), Beirut and Matn district, without any distinction between the Lebanese people and we hope to see its aids increase.”
He pointed out “Lebanese goods’ flowing into the U.S markets are well regarded, and there are Lebanese industries that have become global. “We hope to increase and strengthen the industrial and commercial exchange for the interest of Lebanon and the both countries’ businessmen.”
Asked about the Lebanese who live in the United Stated he answered “They don’t have any problems but there are many Lebanese people in the U.S who have many relatives in Lebanon, it’s important to enhance this communication between the immigrants and not to forget about their families and their Lebanese origins, we put a high importance on the possibility of building and consolidating this relationship to activate the relations between both countries and both people.”
The U.S Embassy’s statement
Later, the American embassy gave a statement in Lebanon about Connelly’s visit to the minister of industry. The statement included: Today the American ambassador in Lebanon Maura Connelly visited the Minister of Industry Vreij Sabounjia.
Ambassador Connelly and minister Sabounjian discussed the political situation in Lebanon in addition to issues concerning both Lebanese and American companies. Ambassador Connelly mentioned that the Congress lately approved a Legislation to re-allow working with the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) which will allow the importation of free of customs goods to the U.S for most of the Lebanese goods till 2013 and that will save a great batch for the Lebanese industrial sector.
Ambassador Connelly and minister Sabounjian also discussed the importance of the U.S. role in helping Lebanon through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which runs various programs helping the small and medium institutions in the industrial, agricultural and tourism fields to strengthen the sales and increase the exports’ earnings.