The government of Lebanon has signed the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Agreement, becoming the eighth to join the inter-regional pact. With the signing of the agreement, Lebanon commits to a free trade relationship with the European Union (EU) by 2010.
Lebanon has been given a five-year grace period to gradually decrease its customs fees on imports of European agricultural products. European Union (EU) products will begin to receive the same treatment as Lebanese products exported to the continent by 2014.
By becoming a EU partner, Lebanon will receive close to $77.8 million under the MEDA II program for the development of socio-economic policies and rural agro-industrial projects. MEDA is the principal financial instrument of the EU for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
The program offers technical and financial support measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the Mediterranean partners. The EU has already granted Lebanon close to $161 million under the previous 1995-2000 MEDA I financial program.
The EU’s 12 Mediterranean Partners are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta. Libya currently has observer status at certain meetings. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )