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Export subsidy program renewed

BusinessNews.com.lb | May 19, 2017
 The Islamic Chamber of Commerce , Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA)

The Council of Ministers extended for an additional year the maritime transport export subsidy program managed through Investment Development Authority (IDAL).

The $14 million program expired in March. IDAL is the public entity responsible for the disbursement process.

Exporters use the program to send their products through two ports, Aqaba in Jordan, and Duba, in Saudi Arabia. IDAL requested adding Iraq to export destinations.

A year after the export program was approved, land transport routes to Iraq closed. Exporters sent goods to Iraq via the Port of Mersin in Turkey instead.

IDAL subsidies cover $3,000 to $4,000 per truckload, while the exporter pays on average around $2,500, depending on the destination. Local ferries handle the transport of shipments.

The subsidy program began in October 2015 and lasted a year. The Council of Ministers had extended the program to March this year.

Since its launch, 82,000 tons of products have been exported with the support of the program. Around 90 percent of exports were agricultural products.