Saudi import ban deals another blow to reeling Lebanese industry - in pictures

Diplomatic crisis comes at a bad time for reeling economy

Oriental Paper Products, a stationery factory in Fanar, Lebanon. Some machinery now sits idle and shifts have been reduced.

The firm was already struggling amid Lebanon's financial crisis. A full-blown diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia has made matters worse.

Ziad Bekdache, chief executive of Oriental Paper Products, said: “We already had our problems and now they (Lebanese politicians) increased them.”

Last week Riyadh extended a blockade on some goods from Lebanon to a blanket ban, in response to criticism by a Lebanese minister of Saudi Arabia's role in the civil war in Yemen.

Spices in containers at Second House Products in Mazraat Yachouh, Lebanon. Before the ban, 20 per cent of its products went to 700 restaurants in Saudi Arabia. The company has been unable to find alternative buyers ahead of Ramadan next spring, usually peak season.

“We end up paying the price for these very big issues,” said Joe Rizk, supply chain manager at Second House Products.

Updated: November 7th 2021, 7:57 AM