Lebanon Businessnews News

Fund to support
energy heavy industries
Initiative by ALI to ensure competitiveness
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The Association of Industrialists (ALI) requested that the Ministry of Industry (MoI) establish a fund to support the heavy industries.

Heavy industries include glass, paper recycling, plastic, textile, and cement industries. Fady Gemayel, Chairman of ALI, said: “The cost of energy represents around six percent, on average, of the selling prices of local products in the heavy industries. This cost increases in some industries to represent around 35 percent of the products’ prices.”

ALI has studied the feasibility of this fund, and the problems it could solve. Gemayel said that the fund could help retaining a wide category of the workforce, and enhance the competitive edge of local products. MOI has promised ALI that it will work on this project.
Gemayel said that most of the neighboring countries subsidize much of their energy sectors, which makes it harder for Lebanon to compete with them.

The fund would require an annual budget of $30 million to support the heavy industries. It could be financed either by MoI, or through international aid that the country receives, or through imposing additional fees on imported products. “The budget required for supporting heavy industries is minimal”.

Heavy industries are used in several sectors, so supporting them will reduce the cost of light industries. “Heavy industries have a large impact on the whole industry,” said Gemayel. For instance, glass is used in the food industry and recycled paper is used to package most industrial and agricultural products.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Dec 03, 2014
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