Senior Cabinet Ministers, including International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, will meet with Lebanese PM Saad Hariri, as he leads a delegation to the inaugural UK-Lebanon Business Investment Forum in London today.
The event saw a deal signed between Rolls Royce and Middle East Airlines (MEA), who have announced that the Airbus A330-900 will be the face of a new fleet of aircraft. The deal will see the British company providing support for the Trent 7000 engines which power the Airbus aircraft. The combined value of the engines and services to Rolls-Royce is approximately $300 million.
The economic relationship between UK and Lebanon is growing stronger, with a range of significant opportunities opening up for British companies in recent months. Lebanon’s $23bn Capital Investment Programme, with more than 200 projects in transport, power-generation and water supply is open for UK companies to bid on.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is great news for British business – and the largest UK-Lebanon trade deal in recent history demonstrates the strength of our ties.
“Our relationship with Lebanon is hugely important – covering security, the economy and aid to support it with its refugee crisis – and today’s Forum is a vital moment to support Lebanon and celebrate our strong trade and investment links. A stable and prosperous Lebanon is vital for the wider security and stability of the Middle East.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “Today’s Forum comes as the UK looks to broaden its trading relationships around the world, as we take control of our independent trade policy for the first time in 40 years.
“I’m delighted to see so many opportunities for British businesses in Lebanon, and my international economic department stands ready to assist any business that wants to expand or start their export operation to the country with strong package of support.”
Prime Minister Designate of Lebanon Saad Hariri said: “I look forward to the opportunity of discussing our ambitious reform and capital investment program with leaders of the UK business community. This program entails a large participation by the private sector, and I hope today’s agreement between MEA and Rolls Royce opens the way for an increase in partnership between our two countries.”