The Executive Secretary of ESCWA and the Lebanese Minister of Industry met on Wednesday in Beirut to discuss reinforcing cooperation, especially in terms of planning and implementing programs that can support economic and social development in Lebanon.
The meeting between Executive Secretary Mohamed Ali Alhakim and Minister Hussein Haj Hassan focused on how to advance and develop the industry sector in Lebanon, as well as the its achievements and shortcomings outside of the country. The officials also exchanged ideas about the most effective work mechanisms, how to ensure product quality and the capabilities of Lebanon’s workforce.
Minister Haj Hassan requested that ESCWA further explore these matters with a focus on trade relations between Arab countries bound by the Arab Facilitation Agreement, noting the hardship Lebanon is facing in exporting products to Arab countries where production costs are lower.
Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Alhakim advised the Minister of Industry to ensure Lebanon’s priorities are set to boost exports and lower imports to create a balance, and stressed the importance of introducing new technologies into the sector to increase its competitiveness. Minister Haj Hassan asked for ESCWA to support these efforts with a study on new industries and scopes of investments in Lebanon.