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Economy ministry launches National Consumer Observatory
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The Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET) has launched the National Consumer Observatory to carry out surveys that will be used for consumer protection purposes, said Alia Abbas, General Director of MoET.

The aim is to study consumer behavior and to use that data to take preventive consumer protection measures and raise awareness, she said. The findings of these studies will be used to educate consumers and inform them about their rights.

The observatory is a project and so there is no need to create a specific department to do the work, Abbas said.

The ministry started the first survey last year in collaboration with universities. The sample consisted of more than 1,000 people. Abbas said they will continue to assign the survey task to volunteers from among university students.

The MoET is cooperating with the Central Administration of Statistics and other government departments to carry out its consumer protection work.

The ministry has also teamed up with the World Bank to set up a similar observatory for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Abbas said. It will collect all kinds of data related to SMEs such as financing, training, risk management, and marketing.

The MoET and the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) created last year business units at IDAL to provide advisory services to SMEs and startups. These services are being offered free of charge by public sector employees and cover a broad spectrum of topics, Abbas said.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Mar 21, 2019