TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran’s commercial attache to Lebanon says despite good political relation between Iran and Lebanon, the trade between the two countries is not satisfactory and currently Iran accounts for only 0.3% of Lebanon’s market.
Speaking to ILNA, Ebrahim Mohammad Rezazadeh touched upon the trade between Iran and Lebanon and said that the highest amount of Lebanon’s imports has been between $19b to $20b and this amount has fallen sharply after the Covid pandemic.
He added that the latest statistics show that Lebanon’s imports were around $11.3b in 2020. He blamed the pandemic for the sharp decline for Lebanon’s imports from Iran and also pointed finger to the economic problems in Lebanon like devaluation of the national currency.
He then pointed to the shares of countries from Lebanon’s market in the past 20 years and said that China tops the list with 9.2% and the U.S. trails China with 8.3%. Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, Russia and Greece are the other major trade partners of Lebanon and in the past five years, China, Italy, the U.S., Greece, Germany and Turkey have dominated Lebanon’s market.
Rezazadeh noted that shares of countries in Lebanon’s market is less than 10% while the figure is usually more than 10% in other countries.
He noted that Lebanon has the highest number of migrants to other countries and according to reports, Lebanese living abroad are four times of the current population in Lebanon, in other words, one-fourths of Lebanese live abroad and most of them are businessmen or they are involved in trade and actually the main exporters to Lebanon are the Lebanese themselves.
He went on to say that the climax of Iran’s exports to Lebanon was 2016 when Iran exported goods worth $93m to Lebanon and the amount declined in the past three years and it dropped to one-thirds and Iran’s exports declined to $30m last year which is only 0.3% of Lebanon’s market and it not a considerable figure.
Rezazadeh admitted that the trade between Iran and Lebanon is not satisfactory noting that Iran has not penetrated into Lebanon economically and it has focused most on strengthening economic bond while other countries wage war in this country and at the same time they boost their economic penetration.
He noted that having good and strong economic relation does not necessarily mean having and broadening economic ties and experience has showed us that market is administered by the private sector.
He reiterated that Iranian goods have their own fans in Lebanon because Lebanese are certain Iranian goods are halal but first we need to provide necessary infrastructures like transfer of money.
Rezazadeh also said that Iran and Lebanon should first get acquainted with their capabilities and capacities and Iranians need to change their approach to Lebanon as they look at Lebanon like 20 years ago and Lebanese are not familiar with Iranian products and the number of Lebanese living in Iran is few.
He further said that as long as we do not know the capacities we will be unable to start a joint cooperation. He also said that Lebanese traders should come to Iran and have direct contacts with Iranian producers especially during the exhibitions.
He also said that barter trade is currently the best solution for trade between the two countries due to problems in monetary transactions.
Rezazadeh noted that launch of the exports guarantee fund, direct presence of traders and launch of chain stores are of the capacities which can reinforce trade ties between the two states.