Lebanon Businessnews News

Industrialists welcome Syrian businesses
Clothing, food factories could move in
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The Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) has expressed its willingness to help Syrian industrialists relocate their businesses to Lebanon.

Ziad Bekdache, vice-chairman of the ALI, said: “We are ready to guide Syrian investors throughout the whole process of doing business, starting with licensing requirements.”
So far, no investments were reported to have crossed the borders, but with the prolongation of the turmoil in Syria, more capital owners are considering relocation options.

According to Bekdache, the country constitutes a lucrative platform for Syrian industrialists. “We have bilateral agreements with many countries, including Europe, which offers them a wide range of incentives.”

Bekdache said small- and medium-sized Syrian manufacturers are more likely to move their operations here: “Light industries that do not require high energy consumption, such as clothes and food, can carry out their production at rented spaces in local factories.” Larger factories and heavy industries will probably head to Egypt and Gulf countries, he said.

The ALI offered to provide Syrian investors with information about the local market. According to Bekdache, Syrian producers will not threaten local industries. “Factories that might relocate here are expected to target markets abroad, and those who will produce for the local market used to export their goods here anyway,” he said.

The benefits of hosting Syrian investments are obvious. “Having new factories operating could spur growth at several levels, as it would create new jobs, and stimulate other lines of production, like cardboard and packaging plants.”

Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jan 22, 2013