Industrialists decry unfair competition. Non-registered refugee-based factories are dumping products - Lebanon

Industrialists decry
unfair competition
Non-registered refugee-based

factories are dumping products

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The Association of Industrialists (ALI), chaired by Fadi Gemayel, has warned that a number of local factories will go bankrupt unless officials take swift measures to stop what he described as unfair competition by factories established by Syrian refugees.

ALI called for protective measures, the end of dumping, and for the enactment of an export strategy to regain what has been lost in the past few years.

Gemayel announced ALI’s demands, including the need for an incentivizing policy to create the proper atmosphere to increase local production.

“We need protective fees for products that compete with similar local products, especially that such a decision does not contradict trade agreements we have signed,” he said.

Gemayel asked for raising custom fees on such products, especially if the country is preparing to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He also requested engaging into negotiations with the main trade partners to whom export products are worth millions of dollars while imports from them is worth billions.

Gemayel called for the immediate closure of non-registered Syrian factories and asked international organizations to prioritize the purchase of local products over imports.

The Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET) said that it has created a crisis cell to come up with swift solutions to protect industries. The cell will convene periodically to discuss the proposed solutions and put together a comprehensive mechanism to support the sector.

The MoET will also examine the possibility to develop a transport support system, similar to the maritime bridge it created in light of the closure of land border crossings.

Minister of Industry Hussein Hajj Hassan said that his ministry has so far sent to the MoET files related to 14 dumping cases and is preparing six others.

“We have set a target to lower imports in the next two years by $2 billion and to raise our exports by the same value,” he said.

He said that the ministry will also prepare other programs such as an allocation of $666,000 in support to exhibitions, as well as support for transport and energy costs.

Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture said that the chamber has identified 12 non-registered tissue factories, and 50 printing presses established by Syrians.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: May 09, 2017