Ankara, 8 February 2022 (TDI): The Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, Amin Salam, officially announced on Sunday that Turkey has lifted the ban on importing scrap metals from Lebanon. The imports secure about $100 million annually for Lebanon from fresh dollars.

The decision to lift the ban was made during Salam’s meeting in Ankara with Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Muş, Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu. In addition, he also met the Chairman of the Lebanese-Turkish Joint Higher Committee, and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. 

The meeting happened all within the framework of President Najib Mikati’s visit to Ankara at the head of the ministerial delegation. The two sides discussed the steps that they should take in order to raise the rate of trade exchange to greater levels than they have achieved so far. 

In addition, they attached importance to putting the free trade agreement into effect. Nevertheless, they agreed to hold a meeting of the joint higher committee in Turkey at the earliest. 

The Turkish side expressed the readiness of Turkish companies to start implementing important infrastructure projects, as a consequence of the recommendation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This includes the reconstruction of the Port of Beirut.

Lebanese Minister’s statement

Salam added that he succeeded in the first stage as a result of these bilateral meetings on lifting the ban on exporting scrap metals to Turkey. 

Noting that the ban deprived the Lebanese economy of nearly $100 million in export revenues annually since 2018. This comes in accordance with figures from the Lebanese Customs General Directorate.

The embargo was imposed in 2018, Lebanon exported to Turkey more than 40% of the total exported scrap metal. It secured approximately $100 million annually for the Lebanese economy.

Salam continued: “Minister Mehmet Mus contacted me and informed me that the decision has become official, and Lebanon can immediately return to exporting scrap metal.”

This positive initiative from Turkey supports the Lebanese economy at a very delicate time. Lebanon is appealing to all sister countries to support it to get out of its acute crisis on the path of recovery and reform towards the new Lebanon. He also hoped for a destination for FDI, prosperity, and brilliance.