A truck drives through the Lebanese customs into the Syrian territory at the Masnaa border crossing, Saturday, June 15, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said Thursday that the main reason behind his planned visit to Syria next week is to participate in the Damascus International Fair and to hold talks with his Syrian counterparts about ways of boosting imports and exports between the two countries.In May, Syria ranked fourth on the list of top countries importing products from Lebanon at $12.211 million according to Industry Ministry statistics.Statistics show that 5.4 percent of Lebanon's exports went to Syria in May 2017 . Before the war broke out six years ago, Syria was the main export route to other countries for Lebanese-made goods. Hajj Hasan said Lebanon has also been holding negotiations with European countries to increase Lebanon's exports to this region.Hajj Hasan said that exports to Arab countries have declined in recent years as well due to the closure of the Nassib border crossing, which is the only functioning crossing between Jordan and Syria and is vital for the transportation of goods from Lebanon and Syria to Jordan and the Gulf states.Hajj Hasan said the increase in Lebanese exports is not the only measure that should be adopted to improve the industrial sector's performance in Lebanon.
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