A Joint Working Group for trade and investment between the European Union and Lebanon was launched today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Christina Lassen, the Secretary General a.i. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Charbel Wehbi and officials from the EU Commission. The Joint Working Group, set up following the commitments of the EU-Lebanon Partnership Priorities, addresses all trade issues and obstacles that prevent Lebanon from making use of the opportunities presented by the preferential arrangements of the Association Agreement between the two parties.
"This Joint Working Group for trade and investment will seek all possible ways to assist Lebanon in boosting its trade export potential, productivity and competitiveness. This is very important and key to reaching another major objective, that of stimulating job creation and economic growth in Lebanon." Ambassador Lassen said.
The launch of the Joint Working Group for trade and investment took place in the framework of a three-day visit by officials from the EU Commission that started on 14 March. The visit included a series of technical meetings between EU and Lebanese officials that addressed EU trade requirements and discussed possible EU technical assistance. In-depth discussions took place on food safety issues, highlighting the potential of agro-food products for Lebanon's economy. An awareness-raising workshop for the private sector and Lebanese authorities on food safety requirements also took place with EU experts providing detailed information on requirements to export to the EU.
Trade is one of the cornerstones of EU-Lebanon relations. Trade cooperation is becoming even more important with the new Partnership Priorities which will guide the EU-Lebanon relations in the coming years and set up a renewed framework for political engagement and enhanced cooperation.
In June 2016, the EU launched its Private Sector Development programme worth €15 million aiming at upgrading the quality of agro-business and manufactured wood products.