In this Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 photo, a worker watches a crane in the port of the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
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The port of Tripoli in Lebanon wants the world to know it's ready for business.Lebanon, as Syria's neighbor, is in prime position to capture a share of that windfall and revive its own sluggish economy.For Lebanon, that could be just the stimulus it needs – the tiny Mediterranean country's growth rate has hovered around 1.5 percent since 2013 .Ahmad Tamer, the port manager, estimates Syria's reconstruction will create a demand for 30 million tons of cargo capacity annually.Lebanon's businessmen and politicians have always maintained close relations with Syrian counterparts. Syria is among Lebanon's largest trade partners, and arguably its most reliable supplier of cheap labor. Lebanon, in exchange, is the banker to many of Syria's enterprises and its wealthy elites.These ties give Lebanon – and Tripoli in particular – an edge over competitors vying for Syria's market.Syria's chief champion in Lebanon, Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad's forces, evinces little doubt.
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