The Embassy of India in Lebanon, in cooperation with the Trade Promotion Council of India, organized a Virtual Conference on “Bilateral Trade and Investment Opportunities between India and Lebanon” on June 4, 2021.

The Conference was also supported by the Lebanese Embassy in New Delhi and was attended by senior TPCI officials and representatives of various Trade Bodies and Chambers in Lebanon.

The Conference was addressed by Ambassador of India to Lebanon, Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan. In his Address, Ambassador Dr. Khan lauded the excellent Indian-Lebanese bilateral ties, including India’s support to Lebanon through its peacekeeping forces within UNIFIL for the last 20 years.

Ambassador Khan also touched on the recent support given by the Government of India to Lebanon after the tragic blasts of August 4, 2020, as well as the support given to the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health in fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic. Ambassador Dr. Khan spoke about complementarities between India and Lebanon, which can be utilized to realize the untapped potential in bilateral trade. The Indian Ambassador spoke of the 5-point strategy to boost the bilateral trade as follows:

1. Enhancement of interaction between the trade bodies of India and Lebanon

2. Exchange of delegations and participation in trade exhibitions

3. Sharing database of potential exporters-importers

4. Identification of commodities, which can be imported from India

5. Publication of standards for imports in Lebanon

His Excellency particularly underlined that there existed untapped potential to enhance bilateral trade in several sectors like Food and Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, Machinery, etc.

Mr. Ziad Koussa, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Lebanese Embassy in India also addressed the Conference and encouraged exporters from Lebanon to use India “as a big market” and to “increase sourcing of goods from India, as those are of excellent quality and much cheaper than similar products from Lebanon’s traditional sources.”

He also spoke about enhancing Lebanese exports to India, including commodities such as Olives, Olive Oils, Lebanese Wines, and Lebanese Apples.

Mr. Ashok Sethi, Director of TPCI, identified sectors like Pharma, Agriculture, Frozen Meat and Agriculture products, which Lebanese importers can import from India, and gave a swot analysis underlying complementarity between Lebanese demands and India’s strengths in these sectors.

The Conference was also addressed by Mr. Bernard Tannouri, President of the Association for Development of Lebanese Indian Relations, Dr. Linda Sultan, Director of Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and North Lebanon, Mr. Rabih Sabra, Director General, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Mr. Jamal Jouni, Vice President, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Saida and South Lebanon, and Dr. Ali El Masri, Founder- CEO, World Arab Economic Lobby. All the speakers gave their valuable suggestions for enhancing bilateral trade.

Mr. P. Pattabhi, Second Secretary, Embassy of India to Lebanon and Mr. Hemant Gautam, Attaché (Commerce) also attended the Conference. The Conference was moderated by Ms. Rana Zeitouni, Commercial Assistant, Embassy of India to Lebanon and Mr. Virat Bahri Deputy Director, Trade Promotion Council of India.

Source: National News Agency