Lebanese products: a new pathway to China

Lebanese products to China

As customer behavior shift to a virtual lifestyle due to the global pandemic, new and exciting opportunities arise making internationalization more accessible to customers worldwide. As such, and in its mission to support export and internationalization of Lebanese products, QOOT Cluster, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Trade, organized an informative session with Mr. Joseph Tannous, economic Attaché of the Lebanese Embassy in Beijing. Attendees learned of the launch of an online boutique for Lebanese products on a Chinese platform, thus helping Lebanese agri-food companies easily access the Chinese market.

During the session, Mr. Tannous stressed on the importance of collaboration as well as clustering for Lebanese SMEs to be more competitive and enter the Chinese market, “Together we can access China!”

He gave an overview of Lebanon-China trade, showing that 75% of what Lebanon exports to China are low value-added products, while China is Lebanon’s number one trade partner. He proceeded by showing the main challenges Lebanese companies are facing to enter the Chinese market, such as:

  • Very high tariffs and very high VAT on imported products
  • Complicated custom clearance procedures especially for first time exporters
  • Legal difficulties to set up shop in China for foreigners
  • Chinese labeling and CIQ approvals for the foreign product before entering China
  • Most Lebanese companies are SMEs with limited financial resources and production capacity compared to the Chinese market

However, through the launch of the online boutique in China, many advantages will arise to overcome some of these challenges since the Chinese government allows certain online platforms to sell foreign products directly, in other words, allowing Lebanese products to enter the Chinese market with:

  • Lower tariffs and VAT
  • Faster custom clearance
  • The ability to find a Chinese distributor without having to register a company in China
  • Products directly sold from the producer to the consumer
  • Ease regulations regarding the Chinese label

Such cross-border trade platforms and online shops will allow Lebanese products to travel all the way to China at a relatively low-cost and through a quick process, thus promoting Lebanese tourism, cuisine and culture in China.

For further information and for inquiries about the platform, please contact Mr. Joseph Tannous: ea.josephtannous@gmail.com 

This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Economic and Trade in Lebanon and launched by the Lebanese Embassy in China.