Bilateral trade between Qatar and Lebanon grew by 48 percent from QR531mn in 2017 to QR787mn in 2018, Qatar Chamber (QC) Chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani said here yesterday. He was speaking at a meeting with the Lebanese trade delegation led by the Lebanese Agriculture Minister, Hassan Al-Lakis. The meeting was also attended by the Lebanese Ambassador to Qatar Hassan Najem, QC Board Member and Chairman of the Committee on Food Security Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Obaidli, QC Second Vice Chairman Rashid bin Hamad Al Athba, and Mubarak Al-Sahouti, business relations director at Hassad Food.
During the meeting, an agreement to send a Qatari trade delegation to visit Lebanon soon was also made in response to an invitation from the Lebanese side.
The meeting also reviewed the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of investment and trade in agricultural and food products. The officials also discussed the possibility of enhancing cooperation between importers of agricultural products from Qatari traders and Lebanese suppliers.
Speaking during the event, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim praised the bilateral relations between the two countries and reiterated that the Chamber was keen to further strengthen the relations between Qatari companies and their Lebanese counterparts. He also pointed out that Lebanese agricultural and food products were in demand in the Qatari market, especially fruits of various kinds.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim also said that Qatar’s imports from Lebanon have increased significantly after the siege imposed on Qatar. He said that 95 percent of Qatar’s imports previously came to Qatar via Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, after the blockade, all Qatari imports arrived in Qatar directly, noting that the Qatari private sector was able to turn the negative aspects of the siege into opportunities.
To date, there are about 1,500 Lebanese-Qatari companies and 29 fully-owned Lebanese companies operating in various sectors in Qatar, he also said.
Speaking at the event, Al-Lakis stressed the deep relations between the two countries in all fields. He also said that there was great interest among the Lebanese business community to enhance cooperation relations with their Qatari counterparts in all fields, especially in the field of agricultural products and animal industries.
Al-Lakis also said that the Lebanese government prioritizes foreign investments particularly Arab investments, and that there were great facilities for investors in the country. He also called on Qatari businessmen to identify investment opportunities in Lebanon and discuss the possibility of long-term partnerships.
According to Al-Lakis, the Lebanese delegation aims to bring together farmers and agricultural companies from Qatar and Lebanon, as well as to discuss the enhancement of cooperation between the private sector in both countries. He also spoke about the obstacles that investors may face in the agricultural and food sectors in both countries.
During the event, Al-Lakis formally invited the Qatar Chamber to organize a Qatari trade delegation to visit Lebanon and learn about the opportunities available in the agricultural sector and the food industry.