Lebanon has signed a memorandum of understanding with the South American free trade organization Mercosur, whose member states host three times the number of Lebanese living in Lebanon.
Hashish in Bekaa
A man works inside a factory that processes Hashish, in the Bekaa valley, Dec. 17, 2014. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ranked Lebanon in 2011 as one of the world's top five sources of cannabis resin. Economist Marwan Iskander said fully legalising the cannabis crop would help Bekaa and another impoverished part of Lebanon, the northern Akkar region, as well as contributing $400 million to the state budget and $2 billion to the wider economy at a time when Lebanon is struggling with the fallout of Syria's war.