Lebanon has banned the import of biscuits and detergents from Turkey in a bid to protect Lebanese industries, caretaker Economy and Trade Minister Raed Khoury said Wednesday.
“The Cabinet took this decision in its last meeting. We decided to ban the imports of biscuits and detergents from Turkey because the devaluation of the Turkish lira has made these products very cheap and hence has affected Lebanese industries which produce similar items,” Khoury said.
But the minister stressed that banning the entry of these two products will not have a major impact on the balance of trade, which is still in favor of Turkey. Turkish exports to Lebanon are nearly $780 million a year while the country’s exports to Turkey are only around $120 million.
“We are only talking about a $30 million drop in the value of imports from Turkey after banning biscuits and detergents from this country,” Khoury explained.
He added that Turkey is subsidizing most of its industries and this has caused a major problem for Lebanon and other countries.
Lebanese industrialists have constantly complained about the dumping of cheap, imported goods into the market, urging the government to take measures to protect national industries.
Among the hurdles Lebanese manufacturers face are high costs of labor, energy, raw material and land. To make matters worse, Lebanese exports declined sharply since the outbreak of the war in neighboring Syria, which used to be the main exit route for most locally produced goods to Iraq and Gulf states.
The industrialists have also been pressing successive governments to review the trade agreements with Syria, Egypt and Jordan, who they accuse of not fully abiding by the terms of the accords.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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