- Advertising Agencies
- Architects

- Banks

- Car Dealers
- Car Rental
- Casinos
- Commerce
- Consulting
- Cosmetology
- Craft

- Data Processing &
Computer Systems
- Decoration &

- Editing
- Elementary Schools
- Engineering &
- Environment / Waste
Management Services
- Express Delivery

- Fashion
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Furnished Apartments

- Health / Beauty
- Higher & Vocational
- Home Appliances
- Hotels 3
- Hotels 4(A)
- Hotels 4(B)
- Hotels 5
- Hotel & Restaurant

- Industry
- Insurance
- Interior Design /
- Internet

- Jewelleries

- Lighting
- Luxury

- Media
- Music

- Office Equipment /
- Oriental Carpets
- Outside Decoration

- Printing
- Promotional Materials

- Real Estate
- Recruitment
- Restaurants

- Sanitary Wares
- Security
- Services
- Sweets

- Taxi
- Telecommunication &
Mobile Phones
- Transport
- Travel Agencies
- Technical Studies

- Watches
- Water Treatment



Back to archives Back to news
French Version

Exports rising as trade deficit widens - Industrialists pursue strategy of trying to counter lower purchasing power (Daily Star)

Lebanese exports in 2003 increased by 46 percent to $1.5 billion compared to the year before, and imports into Lebanon in 2003 rose by 11 percent to $7.2 billion, compared to the $6.4 billion in 2002, according to the higher customs council on Friday.

However, despite the increase in exports, the trade deficit in 2003 widened to $5.6 billion, compared with $5.4 billion in 2002, the customs said in its 2003 Lebanon International Trade Exchange report.

Lebanese exports, which began registering a 20 percent annual growth two years ago, reached $1.524 billion in 2003, compared with $1.045 billion in 2002.

Industrialists over the past few years have increased their exports to counter lower purchasing power in Lebanon, slow economic growth and stiff competition from cheap imports.

Imports into Lebanon increased last year due to an improvement in the government’s public finances after it secured $4.4 billion in financial pledges at the end of 2002, to extend the maturity of the public debt and fund development projects.

Imports had fallen by around 15 percent in 2002 compared with a year earlier due to economic stagnation.

Transit trade through Lebanon more than doubled to $185 million in 2003, compared with $91 million a year earlier. Lebanon received greater transit trade headed to Iraq in 2003, after the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein in March last year opened the door for imports to cater to the needs of the consumer-hungry Iraqi market.

Re-export figures also increased by 60 percent to $105 million in 2003, compared with $63 million a year earlier.

The rapid increase in exports in 2003 was led by jewelry, which accounted for a third of all exports. Lebanese exports of jewelry rose by 116 percent to $464 million in 2003, compared with the $215 million of the previous year.

The second-biggest export item was machinery, which rose by 50 percent to $179 million in 2003, compared with $120 million a year earlier. The third-biggest export item was prepared foodstuffs, which rose in 2003 by 46 percent to $150 million, compared with $102 million a year earlier.

The biggest import item in 2003 was mineral products, which rose by 22 percent to $1.19 billion in 2003, compared with $974 million a year earlier. Mineral products mainly include oil, whose price increased in the run-up to the war on Iraq and continued to soar after the war had ended.

The second-biggest import item in 2003 was machinery, which rose by 1 percent to $873 million, compared with $863 million. The third-biggest import item was chemical products, which rose by 13 percent to $716 million in 2003, compared with $633 million a year earlier.

Lebanon’s number-one export market for the second consecutive year was Switzerland, which imported $379 million worth of goods in 2003 from Lebanon, mainly jewelry.

It was followed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, each of which imported $104 million worth of Lebanese goods in 2003.

Lebanon’s number-one import country in 2003 remained Italy, with $674 million worth of imports, followed by France and Germany. Despite the appreciation of the euro against the dollar in 2003 by over 20 percent, Europe continued to be the country’s number-one import market.

Government income from customs duties in 2003 remained flat at LL1.7 trillion ($1.13 billion) compared with a year earlier. Income from value-added tax slapped on imports reached LL893 billion ($593 million) in 2003.

Beirut 16-02-2004
Dania Saadi
The Daily Star

Business News
Business Forum
Business Opportunities
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Currency Exchange Rates
Some Marks
To see in Lebanon
Media of 1stlebanon
Impact of 1stlebanon
Add your company
Press Book
Flowers delivery Lebanon
Flowers delivery Dubai
Oriental food specialty
Lebanese wine
Real estate agency Beirut
Hotel Hamra-Beirut
Car rental
Rent a car lebanon
Reservation for your travel in Lebanon
Association des français de l'étranger
-section Liban
Diamond jewelry Lebanon
Jewelry manufacturer Lebanon
Jewelry watches-Swiss made watches
Diamond Swiss watches
Modern and comtemporary jewelry
Byzantine & Phoenician jewelry
Jewelry creation
Oriental, classical and traditional decoration
Hand made furniture
Construction management Lebanon
Projects development
Shoes manufacturer and distributor Lebanon
Sole agent of Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Web development
Web marketing
Printing press services
Paper products
Insurance company Lebanon
Insurance Lebanon
Rent villas France
Hotels all over Syria
Hotel management company
University Lebanon
Arab Media News