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Sidon commerce body calls to increase food exports to Bulgaria

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Sidon and the Bulgarian Lebanese Business Council meet to enhance food trade at CCIAS headquarters on March 14, 2018. (The Daily Star/ Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: The head of Sidon’s Chamber of Commerce Wednesday called for cooperation with the Bulgarian Lebanese Business Council to enhance the trust of Bulgarian consumers in Lebanese food products to increase exports.

The Sidon Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture held a seminar alongside the BLBC Wednesday on “job and investment opportunities in Bulgaria.” Organized by the council and held at the chamber’s headquarters, the event was focused on ways to increase consumer trust in food products, especially those produced by business owners in south Lebanon.

Speaking at the event, the president of the chamber, Mohammed Saleh, said that around 300 Lebanese companies have been founded in Bulgaria since 1989, including both joint and exclusively Lebanese-owned companies.

"This shows the importance of the role of the active Lebanese community in Bulgaria, which contributes to the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries,” Saleh said.

However, Saleh described the trade between the countries as “weak.”

He said Lebanese exports to Bulgaria did not exceed $12 million in 2016, while imports from Bulgaria reached $126 million.

Saleh highlighted the importance of increasing Bulgarian consumer confidence in Lebanese food products, adding that most Lebanese businesses in Bulgaria are in the food sector.

He also called on Lebanon to increase exports, and said the chamber was working to enhance business relations between south Lebanon’s business owners and their counterparts in foreign countries with significant Lebanese communities.

He noted the importance of bilateral cooperation between the Lebanese private sector and that of countries where there are “promising investment opportunities ... in the fields of industry, agriculture, tourism, information and technology.”

In his turn, the head of the BLBC, Ahmad Mahyaddine Alaa al-Din, delivered a speech explaining the prospects for investment in Bulgaria and its economic feasibility.

 

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