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Celebrating Fair Trade Lebanon’s BIEEL project success
June 26, 2023

Deputy Chief of Mission, Richard Michaels celebrated the successful implementation of the “Business Innovation and Enhance Exports in Lebanon (BIEEL)” at a closing event in the presence of Fair Trade Lebanon President Sami Abdel Malak, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Louis Lahoud representatives from the industrialist association, chambers of commerce and the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) team, MEPI Coordinator David Lewis and MEPI Program Manager Maya Barhouche, SMEs and local enterprises. MEPI, through the $2.5 million BIEEL project implemented by Fair Trade Lebanon, helped 100 Lebanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives produce and promote Fair Trade Certified products, and provide access to international export markets.

Deputy Chief of Mission Michaels applauded the BIEEL project’s successful outcomes and highlighted the increase in Lebanese agrifood exports by $218 million in 2021 and $75 million in 2022.

“This project is just one in a long series of efforts to strengthen the bond between our nations, as we endeavor to help the Lebanese navigate through the current economic crisis toward a brighter future. The United States remains committed, through support amounting to over $3.8 billion dollars since 2018, to supporting the Lebanese people by enhancing Lebanon’s security, stability, and sovereignty,” she added.   

BIEEL’s project is a concrete demonstration of the United States’ ongoing commitment to fostering a conducive environment for SME growth, including easy access to business financing, efficient export activity, improved corporate governance, and enhanced access to finance and international markets.

About Fair Trade Lebanon & BIEEL initiative

Fair Trade Lebanon is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting fair and ethical trade practices that guarantee fair remuneration and decent income to small producers and cooperatives.  Founded in 2006, Fair Trade Lebanon is member of the World Fair Trade Organization, a global community of social enterprises spread across 76 countries that fully practice Fair Trade and put people and planet first in everything they do. Through various initiatives and projects, Fair Trade Lebanon aims to create sustainable opportunities and improve the livelihoods of marginalized communities and local producers.

BIEEL stands for “Business Innovation and Enhance Export for Lebanon”. The project is led by Fair Trade and initiated by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The initiative aims to create an environment that enables business development and empowers 100 Lebanese SMEs and cooperatives by increasing their competitiveness internationally through three pillars: access to market, standard and access to certification.

Website: https://www.fairtradelebanon.org/

About the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is a program that promotes partnerships and opportunities for economic and political progress in the Middle East and North Africa.  MEPI supports initiatives that empower local communities, strengthen civil society, and promote economic growth in the region.

Website: https://mepi.state.gov/