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Lebanon and Turkey sign free trade agreement

Lebanon and Turkey sign free trade agreement

28 November 2010

Lebanon and Turkey signed a free trade agreement to increase bilateral trade and expand private sector cooperation, as well as to pave the way for the establishment of a free trade zone between Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. The agreement was signed following six years of negotiations. The aggregate value of bilateral trade between Lebanon and Turkey totaled $791.3m in 2009. Lebanese imports from Turkey increase by 3.2% year-on-year to $686.4m, while Lebanese exports to Turkey decreased by 49% to $104.9m in 2009. As such, imports from Turkey account for 4.3% of total Lebanese imports and exports represent 3% of aggregate exports.

Last June, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Jordan signed an agreement to set up a free trade zone and complete a visa-free travel regime for their nationals. The four countries agreed to establish a Cooperation Council to develop a long-term strategic partnership and create a zone of free movement of goods and persons among their economies. The agreement expands all existing bilateral agreements to cover the four countries, as Turkey has already signed bilateral agreements to cancel entry visas with the three countries, in addition to freetrade agreements with Syria and Jordan.