The development of Lebanese-Turkish economic relations dates back to 1947 when the air transport agreement was signed, followed by economic, commercial, industrial and cultural agreements between the two countries. According to Lebanese customs data, which monitors the volume of trade between Lebanon and the world, the volume of Turkish imports to the Lebanese market reached about 738,387 million dollars. In contrast, the volume of Lebanese exports to Turkey reached 118,967 million dollars. Turkey ranks sixth in the list of countries that trade with Lebanon which is 5% of its total exports and imports. Total trade between Lebanon and Turkey reached $ 1,116 billion two years ago, an increase of 22.1% over 2010.
Visits and relations between the two countries Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Hakan Chakl said that his country as a president and a government are always with the right and the oppressed around the whole world, because they represent the values of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government. This came during the reception of the Grand Mufti of Tripoli and the Northern area Sheikh Malik Al-Sha’ar, in his home in Tripoli (North), a high-level delegation from Turkey, which included about 40 businessmen, Director of the Turkish Agency for Cooperation and Coordination (TIKA), Lebanon, Sarhat Koguk Kort, and the President of the Association of Turkish Arab Businessmen Janan Sonai.
The meeting comes from wanting to be acquainted after the appointment of Chakl as the ambassador of his country Lebanon for six months, and to discuss ways to strengthen the relationship between Ankara and Beirut in general; and Tripoli in particular, according to official Lebanese news agency.
“The relationship between the two countries transcends economic relations,” the Turkish ambassador told the Mufti of Tripoli, adding that he was delighted to be in Tripoli with the President of the Businessmen Association. “I am very happy to hear and listen to them (in reference to the Turkish delegation) that intend to establish economic projects and trade exchanges with Lebanon in general and with Tripoli and the North in particular,” the Mufti said. “Turkey is one of the countries that created the religious and cultural climate in our region,” he said. “We congratulate you on the conscious leadership of Turkey, the country enjoys the safety and calmness of its transformative steps, and the leaders said that he hoped that this visit will be the introduction of new projects through the allocation of Tripoli in a developmental office for developmentprojects in the city and the north, which will be supervised by the municipality of Tripoli and Tika.
For his part, the Turkish Ambassador expressed his admiration for what he saw in Tripoli of love for the Turks, especially since “his visit is protocol and for dates following after his appointment as ambassador to his country.” He stressed continuing the cooperation and the support of some projects in coordination with the Municipality of Tripoli for the good of the people of the city.
Chakl and the Turkish delegation accompanying the Governor of North Lebanon, Judge Ramzi Nahra, met at the headquarters of the province in Tripoli, and discussed relations between the two countries and the ways of working to consolidate them. the delegation of Turkish businessmen participated in the launch of the second Turkish-Arab Economic Forum, the Turkish-Arab Economic Partnership, at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tripoli.
After that, the Turkish ambassador and the governor of Mersin received the shield of “Tripoli al-Fayhaa” (an appreciation gift) in appreciation of them. In contrast, Governor Su gave the Mayor of Tripoli a gift, which is a decorated dish of various handicrafts in Mersin.
Economic exchange between Lebanon and Turkey and resolving previous differences:
The Minister of Economy and Trade, Mansour Betish, said that his country’s government attaches great importance to the development of its trade relations with Turkey, considering that the latter plays a leading role in the region economically. Lebanon retracts decision to halt imports of Turkish products A few weeks after Lebanon’s decision to halt the import of biscuits from Turkey by former Economy Minister Raed Khoury, Economy Minister Mansour Betis decided to veto this decision and work on issuing a new resolution allowing imports with Ankara’s approval to re-import iron Scrap from Lebanon.
The Minister of Economy and Trade Mansour Batish, Minister of State for Foreign Trade Hassan Murad and Advisor to Prime Minister Fadi Fawaz, Director General of the Lebanese Atomic Energy Authority Bilal, held a ministerial meeting in Istanbul between the Ministries of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of State for Foreign Trade and the turkish Ministry of Trade. The General Director of the Lebanese Atomic Energy Authority Bilal Nusouli, director of Tripoli port Ahmed Tamer, and a number of iron and scrap traders.
On the Turkish side, the delegation included Turkish Minister of Trade Rohsan Baknan, General Director of Customs Mustafa Gomez, Deputy General Director of International Agreements Fuad Kazimkan, General Director of Import Ahmed Arkan and Director of Safety and Radiation Inspection Department Haqi Burkli.
demands of the Turkish side:
During the meeting, the Turkish minister addressed key issues in the framework of the organization of economic and trade relations between the two countries, especially in the following areas:
- -Reactivating and reinstating the Lebanese-Turkish Joint Committee, which has not met since 2009.
- -Lifting Lebanon’s prevention of importing some Turkish products especially wafer chocolate and cleaning tools.
- -The establishment of a free trade agreement between the two countries.
- -Coordination between the two countries in all types of international economy, especially in the WTO.
- -Signing the maritime transport agreement between the two countries.
- -The conditions of Turkey’s decision to ban the importation of Lebanese goods for technical reasons.
The volume of trade and tourism exchange:
The Minister of Economy and Trade Mansour Batish showcased the volume of trade and tourism exchange between the two countries, which is beneficial to Turkey, stressing the determination of the Lebanese government to develop and promote such exchange in the interests of the two countries. With regard to Turkey’s decision to ban the export of scrap iron from Lebanon on the pretext of the fear of it containing prohibited materials Harming public health, He stressed the commitment of Lebanon through its administration, customs and technical bodies, especially the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission, to all the international requirements for radiation testing, pointing out that all land, sea and air crossings in Lebanon are monitored by the latest equipment and experts to prevent the export of any prohibited materials.
The Minister of Economy and Trade Mansour Batish officially invited The Turkish Minister to send a Turkish technical team to visit Lebanon to familiarize themselves with the procedures used in the tests carried out before the export of scrap to Turkey, which is applied by Lebanon in accordance with international scientific standards.The Turkish minister called on Turkey to lift the ban on the import of scrap for 3 months, waiting on the visit of the experts. And the issuance of their report on this area, the minister Mansour Batish also promised the issuance of a decision of the Council of Ministers to re-open Lebanon for import of Turkish goods that have already been banned.
There was also an intervention by the advisor of the Prime Minister Fadi Fawaz, in which he stressed the importance of the involvement of the private sector and Turkish businessmen in the projects of Cedar and the public-private partnership projects in Lebanon. The head of the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission, Bilal Nsouli, presented to the Turkish side a detailed report on the procedures and electronic equipment used at the border crossings. At the end of the meeting, the Turkish minister affirmed her openness to finding appropriate solutions to the trade problems between the two countries, requesting time to respond to the Lebanese demands, especially giving a grace period of three months for the entry of scrap goods to Turkey.
Lebanese investments in Turkey:
The share of Lebanese investments accounted for 0.9% of all foreign investments flowing into Turkey. The amount of Lebanese investment flowing into Turkey in the years 2010-2016 was $ 285 million. In the first two months of 2017, the amount of Lebanese investment reached $ 1 million. The Lebanese ambassador in Ankara, Ghassan al-Moallem, said that a million Lebanese had visited Turkey in the first eight months of last year. In a speech during the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the independence of Lebanon in Ankara, al-Moallem said that there are many common ties between his country and Turkey, especially in history, culture and customs. The Turkish attendees were the Interior Minister Suleiman Sweileh, diplomats, businessmen and academics. He stressed that his country always stands by Palestine and the Palestinian cause, and is ready to cooperate with Turkey always.