In a press release by the British Embassy in Beirut, it said: "Trade Policy Minister, the Rt Hon Conor Burns MP and the Lebanese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Gebran Bassil have signed today a UK-Lebanon trade agreement. It ensures British businesses and consumers will continue to benefit from preferential trading terms with Lebanon after we leave the European Union.
The signature of the UK-Lebanon Association Agreement at the UK-Lebanon Tech Forum in London will provide a framework for cooperation and development on political, economic, social and cultural links.
The new UK-Lebanon Association Agreement provides, among other trade benefits, tariff-free trade of industrial products together with liberalisation of trade in agricultural, agri-food and fisheries products. Trading on these preferential terms delivers significant savings, helping to support British jobs and also providing a positive boost for Lebanon's economy, which continues to be impacted by the Syrian crisis.
This agreement provides a platform for trade between the UK and Lebanon to grow, with total trade worth Pound 603 million in 2018. It also provides the certainty for British and Lebanese consumers and businesses to continue trading following the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The agreement sends a strong signal that Britain is committed to a close bilateral relationship with Lebanon.
Minister of State for International Trade Conor Burns said:
"Our priority is to ensure businesses are fully prepared and have the tools they need to continue to trade by the 31 October. Today's signing with Lebanon will help provide certainty and opportunities for businesses in both the UK and Lebanon.
"I hope that this Agreement will usher in a new phase of increased bilateral investment in each other's economies, which is the basis for continued stable economic growth."
Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Dr Andrew Murrison said:
"I welcome the signing of the UK-Lebanon Association Agreement, which provides certainty and confidence to UK and Lebanese consumers and businesses as we leave the European Union.
The economic and trade relationship between our two countries holds much potential. I look forward to more British and Lebanese companies doing business with each other, investing and operating in the UK and Lebanon as a result of this Agreement."
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling said:
"The signing of the UK-Lebanon Association Agreement - our first bilateral trade agreement - marks the strength of the UK-Lebanon partnership and a new phase of increased bilateral investment in each other's economies.
Lebanon represents un-tapped opportunities for UK companies, especially in new technologies, creative industries, infrastructure and energy, and as a gateway to the Middle East.
This Agreement promotes our countries' political, economic, security and cultural cooperation and will ensure continuity, lead to more liberalisation, and present opportunities to do more together.
The UK supports Lebanon's economic reform programme, and recognises the potential opportunities for much deeper trade and investment ties between our two complementary economies and their global diasporas."
This agreement will now be subject to the domestic internal procedures of both countries party to the agreement before it can be brought into force.
The UK will continue to be covered by the EU-Lebanon Association Agreement while it is a member of the EU. This agreement is designed to take effect when the EU-Lebanon agreement ceases to apply to the UK.
Trade with Lebanon was worth Pound 603 million in 2018, with Pound 486 million in UK exports to Lebanon and Pound 117 million in UK imports from Lebanon.
The UK's top goods exported to Lebanon in 2018 were pharmaceutical products (HS30, Pound 56 million), vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock (HS87, Pound 52 million) and machinery and mechanical appliances (HS84, Pound 52 million).
In December 2018, we signed the largest bilateral deal in the history of UK - Lebanon relations, with a $300 million trade deal between Rolls Royce and Middle East Airlines. MEA's new aircrafts Airbus A330-900 neo will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines due to deliver in 2021.
A regularly updated list of all signed agreements is available on GOV.UK."
Source: Natioal News Agency