China to promote high-tech trade with Lebanon: commercial counselor

08:27, May 13, 2010      

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China will promote more high-tech and self-branded products to export to Lebanon, said Ge Hua, commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Beirut, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Ge said that the Chinese products exported to Lebanon have upgraded a lot in recent years. In 2009, 34 percent of the total export value is from mechanical and electronic products. However, the major items from China to Lebanon are still toys, plastics, furniture and some other labor-intensive products.

Ge's remarks came as Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Chami went to China to join the upcoming ministerial conference of China-Arab Cooperation Forum held in east China city of Tianjin.

Ge said that since as much as 10,000 Lebanese coming to China for business every year, more and more Lebanese have learned that Chinese products are not only competitive on prices but also on quality. Chinese products are no longer the synonyms of cheap and low-quality. Now some Chinese branded companies, like Meiling, Gree, Chery, Geely etc. have established exclusive agents in Lebanon.

She added that Chinese products will also take advantage of the trade-oriented Lebanese market to promote themselves to the Middle East, Africa and Western markets.

With 14 million diaspora around the world, three times than its population, Lebanon has the tradition of trading and doing business, and trade is also the most important economic sector of the country.

According to Lebanese customs, the trade volume of the two countries reached 1.47 billion U.S. dollars, an 1.73 percent year- on-year increase. Lebanese export to China was only 32 million U.S. dollars, plunging by 42.9 percent compared to the previous year.

Ge said that the Commercial Counselor's Office is now helping the local companies with Lebanese characteristics, such as wine and olive oil, to export to China. The cooperation in tourism, clean energy, telecommunication and finance is also on the agenda.

Meanwhile, China is increasing its aid to Lebanon. Ge said that currently China is helping Lebanon build mobile telecommunication network, solar heating systems and the cash aid programs to Palestinian refugee camps.

China has also done a lot in Lebanon's talent building programs. As of 2009, China has invited more than 150 Lebanese to attend symposiums and seminars from different sectors such as economic, financial, agricultural, press, and education.

"As Lebanon is now enjoying the most peaceful time and the government is planning a basket of economic development policies, we believe that the trade and economic relations between the two countries will develop toward a more positive and fruitful way," said Ge.

Source: Xinhua


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