An economic forum will be held in Beirut next month with the aim to boost trade exchange with Cairo, the Egyptian ambassador here has said.
Mohamed Badr el Din Zayed revealed that Lebanese Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb and Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan would sponsor the forum to discuss what sectors could benefit the most from trade exchange.
“This will be followed by increasing the number of exhibitions in both countries. Later, delegations of businessmen from both countries will exchange visits to discuss how to boost commercial ties and investment,” Zayed told The Daily Star paper in an interview at the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut.
The ambassador said that Lebanon might be the only country whose investments in Egypt have increased following the uprising of January 2011.
“According to the latest statistics, these investments have reached $4 billion,” Zayed added.
Separately, Zayed promised that the Suez Canal and all Egyptian ports would be open for the Lebanese exports.
Exporting products by sea is the only option Lebanon was left with after the closure of the Nassib border crossing between Jordan and Syria in April when it fell in the hands of Syrian rebels.
“There are steps that have been already made to facilitate this issue,” Zayed said.
He explained that some Lebanese products have already been transferred to the Egyptian ports, but in small quantities.
“We will cooperate as much as we can,” he said.
Zayed said that Lebanon would reap major benefits from the exclusive economic zone which will be established in the Suez Canal area.
“The Lebanese are always the fastest in seizing economic opportunities and always sense a hospitable atmosphere in Egypt,” he said.