Lebanon Businessnews News

Industrial permits
surged by 20 percent
Food manufacturing tops the list
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Industrial permits issued by the Ministry of Industry (MoI) reached 696 last year, increasing by 20 percent compared to 2014.

Licenses issued to ‘semi-light’ industries reached 292 licenses, while 220 licenses were issued to ‘light’ category factories.

Ziad Bekdache, Vice Chairman of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), said: “This surge in the number of permits means that the industrial sector is proving its strength, in spite of the economic crisis.” Investors prefer to put their money now more than ever in such a resilient sector rather than in fragile sectors, he said.

About 203 licenses went to the food industry, which tops the list, followed by 119 licenses for construction material industries, and 70 for chemical industries.

Ahmad Hoteit, Chairman of the Syndicate of Food Industries, said: “The food industrial sector is growing because it has to meet increasing local demand, partly due to additional consumption from Syrian refugees.” He said that the industrialists are also searching for and finding new export markets. China and Russia are now targeted. Food industrial exports to non-traditional markets, such as the USA and Europe are also increasing. “Most local factories are working to get the ISO and HACCP certificates, which help increase their penetration in international markets,” said Hoteit.

Hoteit said that new establishment licenses are mainly going to canned food factories.

Acording to Bekdache, the increase in the number of licenses provided to construction industries, in spite of the slowdown in the real estate sector, could be attributed to the fact that industrialists are preparing themselves to contribute to the rebuilding of Syria.

The Mount Lebanon governorate received the highest share of licenses (57 percent), mostly distributed in Metn. It was followed by Bekaa (18 percent), and the North (nine percent).

The industrial zones that gained the most licenses were Choueifat (20 licenses), followed by Bauchrieh (13) and Borj Hamoud (12 licenses).
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Mar 15, 2016
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