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Ban on Turkish imports stears support and opposition


The recent Cabinet decision barring the importation of clothes and food items from Turkey (, has been supported by industrial circles but criticized by traders, Al Diyar reported, citing the ministry of economy in the caretaker government as saying similar measures will follow soon. These protective measures, minister Raed Khoury told Al Diyar, will cover 20 to 25 commodities, noting that Lebanon’s imports from Turkey stand at USD one billion against only USD 200 million in exports to Turkey, which creates a trade deficit between the two countries. Al Diyar wrote that while the official Turkish response did not come out yet, rumors surfaced about a decision to suspend the entry of holders of Lebanese passports to Turkey without a prior visa. Expounding on the subject, Khoury told the newspaper he did not expect any such reaction on the Turkish part, pointing to his meeting with the Turkish ambassador who denied any such action describing it simply as an economic decision that has no political implications. Khoury explained that his ministry is planning a holistic economic approach intended to shift rentier economy to a productive through supporting productive economic sectors. He pledged before the end of the government’s term, to “break the taboo that has been preventing us from taking such measures,” hoping a similar decision be taken to end smuggling activities. Meanwhile, the president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association, Fadi Gemayel, welcomed the above decision, playing down any anticipated negative outcome from it, except from a group of importers who have narrow commercial interests. On the subject, the Gathering of Lebanese-Turkish Associations said in a statement released on Friday that the goods covered by the Cabinet’s decision are suspicious, particularly that they target low-income and middle class citizens, as well as, small and medium merchants and enterprises. The statement demanded the conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement to prevent Lebanon from losing any new investment prospects with Turkish investors. (AL Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, May 31, June 4, 2018)

Previous related news:
Ban of import of cloths, food from Turkey to support domestic industry

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