Industry declares state of emergency. Association gives government 100 days to close unlicensed factories and stop dumping</p>

Industry declares
state of emergency
Association gives government 100 days

to close unlicensed factories and stop dumping

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The Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) announced an ‘industrial emergency’ on Wednesday, calling on the government to save the country’s industry, jobs, and economy.

“Tens of manufacturers are close to shutting down their factories due to dumping, smuggling, and unlicensed factories,” said Fadi Gemayel, Chairman of ALI. The association gave the government 100 days to take measures to save the industrial sector.

ALI requested a comprehensive vision and strategy for reviving the sector and economy. They demanded the closure of all illegal factories, implementation of trade agreements based on reciprocity, implementation of laws on the books, a review of industrial costs, injection of liquidity in the market, and a reduction of borrowing costs.

Wael Abou Faour, Minister of Industry, joined voices with the industrialists. “I meet on daily basis manufacturers that are screaming about dumping, the drop in their business, and threatening to close their business,” Abou Faour said.

The trade agreements are unfair and should be reviewed, and reciprocity is not [being] applied, Abou Faour said. “We are not putting up technical barriers to protect our industry, while other countries are doing so,” he said.

“The ministry and the industrialists are not calling for a halt on some imports, but they want to protect their products that are imported from countries that subsidize their industry,” said Abou Faour.

“Past policies and strategies that disregarded productive sectors brought us to where we are today,” said Abou Faour.

“The government will work to enact the appropriate decrees,” Abou Faour said.

Industrialists cannot take it anymore, said industrialist and Member of the Parliament Neemat Frem.

Parliament has a lobby of 19 industrialists that will work hard to save the sector, Frem said. The MPs will work on customs protection measures, develop the law related to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and propose new laws that encourage and incentivize investments, and will set strategies with all ministries to boost productive sectors.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Mar 27, 2019