Industrialists to Central Bank:
Allow fund transfers for imports
$300 million needed immediately to prevent collapse
The Central Bank (BDL) must allow manufacturers to carry out bank transfers abroad of $3 billion per year in order to finance their imports of raw materials, said Fady Gemayel Chairman of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists.
Industrialists need immediately an injection of $300 million to fund their imports otherwise the sector will drift into a perilous deterioration, he said.
According to Gemayel, the Governor of BDL has agreed to take quick measures to ease the importation of industrial raw materials following consultation with the Association of Banks.
He called on the Governor to extend to the entire industrial sector, the facilitations offered by BDL to pharmaceutical factories to help them finance their imports of raw materials.
For each $3 billion of imported raw materials, the industrial sector produces an output of $13 billion. Nearly $10 billion of the industrial products are sold on the local market and the remaining $3 billion are exported. The manufacturing sector does not need to use BDL’s foreign currency reserves to finance its imports of raw materials because these imports are equal to its exports of finished products which are approximately $3 billion, Gemayel said.
“Don’t mess with the livelihood of more than 195,000 households, let it be a warning!” he said during a massive rally of around 5,000 industrialists and factory workers. The protest, launched under the slogan ‘Last Cry, Last Chance’, aims to protect the industrial workforce and to prevent the closure of factories.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Jan 21, 2020