Sunday, December 11, 2005

Some Economic News & a New Slogan for Lebanon

Friends, I have some interesting economic and business news to share with you. I just wish we had more of this stuff to read rather than the usual daily press reports about bombs and assassinations.

The story concerns Lebanon's agriculture industry. It is no big secret that the industry in Lebanon is neither competitive, nor subsidized to the extent that it would be competitive in international markets. Consequently, the way we've been exporting the stuff we grow is by signing deals with other states such as Libya - which imports a certain quota of apples a year from Lebanon, and by growing organic produce, which we then sell to European markets.

It now appears that Iran has shown some interest in Lebanese produce. To be more specific, the Iranians are very interested in Lebanese fish, an interest that I find be quite dubious, especially considering how polluted Lebanese waters are, and that whenever my mother decides to cook fish, she does her best to buy the imported stuff.

Anyways, here's the story courtesy of Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd.

According to Tehran Times, the Lebanese minister of Agriculture Talal Sahili said his country would welcome agricultural cooperation with Iran. Sahili noted that through expanding ties with Iran, the Lebanese fishermen will be also able to improve their catch records. During his April 2003 trip to Beirut, the former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami had told the Lebanese officials that Iranian companies could spend a total of 50 million dollars on implementation of big infrastructure projects in Lebanon

Cynicism aside, I will restate what I typed in the beginning of this entry: I wish our headlines were dominated by more headlines such as these.

Politics aside, this story highlights the strengths of Lebanon's diverse population. Our contacts with Iranians, French, Americans, Gulfies, Africans, South Americans and a hundred other peoples give us such an advantage that it is simply ridiculous that we're not one of the richest countries in the region.

Of course, to enrich ourselves, we will need stability. We can only get stability if those powers are at peace with each other. That is why I have a new slogan for Lebanon.

Lebanon: the barometer of world political affairs! When we do well, the world is doing well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Success is about networks!