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Soliver calls for protection from dumping
Glass manufacturer hurt by cheaper imports
Soliver, the only local glass manufacturer, filed a complaint to the Ministry of Economy and Trade calling on it to impose higher customs fees on white glass products imports.
Sources from Soliver said imported glass bottles and jars enter the local market at prices lower than the local production cost: “Our high production costs are mainly due to electricity fees and salaries and wages.”
Glass products are imported from Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, and China to the local market. Alain Tabourian, major shareholder and General Manager of Interbrand, manufacturer of Libby’s and X-TRA juices said: “Glass products imported from Arab countries are not subject to customs fees under the GAFTA (Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement) which allows the admission of goods from Arab countries without charging any custom fees.”
The prices of imported products are 20 percent lower than those of local products according to Tabourian.
Soliver produces about 44,000 tons of white glass products, such as bottles and jars. Soliver sources said: “Our produce satisfies demand from the local market, the remaining produce is exported to international markets.”
“We are opposed to customs protection requests; factories should seek ways to cut the production costs instead,” said Tabourian. Interbrand buys all the glass products needed for their industry from Soliver. The firm asked Soliver to manufacture bottles thinner than their regular ones in order to reduce the cost.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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May 27, 2013
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