Lebanon’s exports have diminished by $10 billion in the last five years due to the Syrian war, said Caretaker Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan.
Hassan made these comments in an event held in Baalbeck last week that was aimed at discussing the economic challenges facing the country.
Following the closure of the Nasib border on April 1, 2015, when Jordan closed its border with Syria following heavy fighting between Syrian government forces and the rebels, Lebanon’s exports suffered massive damage.
The Nasib border was a crucial trade junction since it was the functional crossing between Jordan and Syria; furthermore, Nasib is strategic since it is the location where vital goods are transported, back and forth, from Lebanon and Syria to Jordan and to other Gulf states.
On July 6, with Syrian government forces wresting control of the border from rebel forces, goods could once again be exported on the Nasib border with Jordan.
With the reopening of the border, Lebanese officials as well as representatives of different economic sectors in Lebanon voiced their optimism with caretaker Agriculture Minister Ghazi Zeaiter saying, the Lebanese economy will improve following the reopening of Nasib border.
“I am in contact with Syrian officials and I will be visiting Syria soon to discuss the need to take measures that would allow the Lebanese to export their products again through Nasib border,” said Zeaiter in connection to resuming the country’s exports.
Hajj Hassan also emphasized the need for the Lebanese government to adopt a strategy to enhance the performance of different economic sectors, including its industry and agriculture.