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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BEIRUT716 2009-06-29 07:48:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Beirut
Cable title:  

LEBANON: INDUSTRIALISTS LOBBY TO INCLUDE ALL LEBANESE

Tags:   ECON EFIN EIND PGOV ETRD KFLU SY LE 
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					  UNCLAS BEIRUT 000716 

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SENSITIVE

STATE FOR NEA/ELA AND EEB/IFD/ODF
STATE PASS USTR FRANCESCKI
STATE PASS USAID LAUDATO/NANDY/SCOTT
TREASURY FOR PARODI/BLEIWEISS/AHERN
USDOC FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/ONE
NSC FOR SHAPIRO/MCDERMOTT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EIND PGOV ETRD KFLU SY LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON: INDUSTRIALISTS LOBBY TO INCLUDE ALL LEBANESE
EXPORTS UNDER GSP (ECONOMIC WEEK IN REVIEW, JUNE 22 - 28, 2009)

CONTENTS
--------

-- LEBANON SUBMITS PETITION TO INCREASE ITS EXPORTS UNDER GSP
-- CONTROL IMPROVES ON THE LEBANESE-SYRIAN NORTHERN BORDER CROSSING

-- MOTOROLA ALLOWED TO OPEN AN OFFICE IN LEBANON
-- SWINE FLU CASES REACH 35


LEBANON SUBMITS PETITION TO
INCREASE ITS EXPORTS UNDER GSP
--------------------



1. (SBU) As part of the USTR's evaluations of ongoing country
practices for the general system of preferences (GSP), the
Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) submitted a petition to
include all Lebanese exports to the U.S. under the GSP program. In
2008, Lebanese exports to the U.S. were valued at around $49
million, around 50% of which benefited from GSP.

CONTROL IMPROVES ON THE LEBANESE-SYRIAN
NORTHERN BORDER CROSSING


--------------------------





2. (SBU) On June 24, Lebanese Customs and Surete Generale moved
their northern border offices in Abboudieh closer to the Dabbousieh
Syrian border. This move is part of a plan to better control the
border crossing between the two countries and develop the
infrastructure to meet international standards, Director General of
Customs General Assaad Ghanem told us on June 25. Ghanem said the
move falls within UNSCR 1701 regarding border controls and improving
control by the Common Border Forces (Surete Generale, Customs,
police, and army) for the passage of goods and people.



3. (SBU) Ghanem said that customs and Surete Generale have also
established a presence at the Bukaiya northern border crossing, thus
legalizing this passage, and preparations will start to move Customs
and Surete Generale offices at the Qa' border crossing (northern
Bekaa) closer to the Syrian border, establish a presence in Hermel,
and rehabilitate the Arida northern crossing. The entire project is
expected to be completed in 2010, Ghanem said.

MOTOROLA ALLOWED TO OPEN
AN OFFICE IN LEBANON


--------------------------





4. (SBU) On June 18, the cabinet issued a decree allowing U.S. firm
Motorola to register and open an office in Lebanon, after three
years of post advocacy on behalf of the company. Motorola was put
on Lebanon's boycott list of businesses with a relationship with
Israel more than ten years ago. With this, Motorola was banned from
having an operational office to market, advertise, and sell its
products, though it was permitted to sell its products through a
Lebanese agent. Motorola's country manager Rabah Zarzour told us
the decree was supported by the Ministers of Telecommunications and
Economy and Trade, as well as Prime Minister Siniora.

35 SWINE FLU CASES


--------------------------





5. (U) On June 26, the Ministry of Public Health announced that the
number of swine flu cases reached 35, up from 20 at the end of last
week. All patients are in the process of recovery, the ministry
noted. No deaths have been attributed to the flu in Lebanon.

SISON