Lebanon may sign pact with EU within a year
Lebanon’s Economy and Trade Minister Basil Fuleihan declared that Lebanon could sign an economic partnership pact with the European Union within one year.
The minister said Lebanon has already surpassed the first obstacle by lowering custom duties. The two remaining issues are the agricultural sector, which is heavily protected by the government, and further tariff cuts, which should be phased out completely according to an agreed timetable.
Fuleihan will head a delegation to Brussels later this month to resume negotiations with EU officials, and expects the first round of talks to set the pace for a speedy agreement.
The Euro-Med partnership agreement envisions a free-trade zone among countries of the Mediterranean Basin, as well as liberalizing their agricultural and service sectors.
The EU signed an association agreement last week with Egypt and has signed similar pacts with Tunisia, Morocco, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan. — (Lebanon Invest)
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