Arab Today, arab today sabounjian protect aluminum industry
Last Updated : GMT 12:35:42
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Sabounjian: Protect aluminum industry

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Sabounjian: Protect aluminum industry

Beirut - Arabstoday

Lebanon should take measures to protect its aluminum sector, Industry Minister Vreij Sabounjian told The Daily Star, warning that failure to contest cheaper imports would put factories out of business. “We have a problem with flooding the market that diminishes our ability to compete. Imports have become much less [expensive] than our local production,” Sabounjian said. The minister blamed high energy subsidies implemented by neighboring countries for the cheaper prices of imported aluminum. Lebanese industries have to pay energy bills three to four times higher than their regional peers, Sabounjian said, urging the government to support industrialists with energy subsidies. Sabounjian said that the ministry’s current efforts to help energy-intensive industries cut costs are not enough, adding that a decision to refund VAT on fuel consumed by factories is insufficient. He noted that it was crucial to extend a temporary 10 to 15 percent tariff on aluminum imports, a measure which is set to expire later this year. In a statement issued Tuesday, the minister said he wouldn’t stand by “as the aluminum sector suffers the fate of Uniceramic,” a reference to a local ceramics manufacturer that was forced out of business in 2009 after facing tough competition from foreign producers. Uniceramic, which was once Lebanon’s biggest ceramics producer, declared bankruptcy after incurring over $10 million in losses. At the time, Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel successfully lobbied for a tariff on ceramics imports. The Economy Ministry subsequentlyabolished the tariff, fearing the tax would hamper Lebanon’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization. When asked if extending the aluminum tariff today would violate the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements signed by Lebanon, the minister argued that the taxes would not constitute an infringement and dismissed the possibility of retaliatory measures. “Neighboring countries have much more extensive natural resources than Lebanon and trade agreements should take that into consideration,” he said. He added that Lebanon should be able to negotiate exceptions to help some of its struggling industries. “Lebanon should reserve the right to protect vital industries. Given our small level of production, such tariffs should not have any impact on Lebanon’s trade relations,” he said. “We need to protect the sector that has investments worth hundreds of millions of [U.S.] dollars and provides thousands of jobs,” the minister argued. Sabounjian’s warnings were echoed by several aluminum factories contacted by The Daily Star. “How can you compete with imports that are $500 or even $600 cheaper [per ton] than our produce?” asked a manager at a leading aluminum factory who did not wish to be named. The employee said imports from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have dominated a sizable share of the market. The three countries have heavily subsidized energy costs for factories and enjoy a much lower labor cost, the manager said. When asked if the tariff suggested by Sabounjian would be sufficient, the employee said the measure would be positive, but feared many importers were already illegally evading the tax. Fahed Darwish, an assistant general manager at Dantzigian S.A.L, echoed Sabounjian: “Local aluminum industries have been facing very tough competition from foreign-manufactured products,” he said. In addition to soaring energy and labor costs, the sector lacks qualified individuals. “We have a trouble finding skilled workers,” he said, complaining that vocational schools are not meeting the industry’s demand. “We need to seek economic balance. Protecting the industry is imperative to ... strengthen economic stability. The Lebanese economy cannot keep depending alone on the service and commercial sectors,” Sabounjian said. The Daily Star

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today sabounjian protect aluminum industry Arab Today, arab today sabounjian protect aluminum industry

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today sabounjian protect aluminum industry Arab Today, arab today sabounjian protect aluminum industry

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation
Arab Today, arab today What's the reason and what you can do

GMT 05:44 2017 Sunday ,22 October

What's the reason and what you can do
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Prayers turn to nightmare

GMT 06:14 2017 Sunday ,22 October

Prayers turn to nightmare
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today World's deepest lake in peril

GMT 15:54 2017 Friday ,20 October

World's deepest lake in peril
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse'

GMT 16:07 2017 Friday ,20 October

Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse'
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today EU raids automaker BMW

GMT 11:06 2017 Saturday ,21 October

EU raids automaker BMW
Arab Today, arab today Sweden to get biggest car factory

GMT 14:10 2017 Friday ,20 October

Sweden to get biggest car factory
Arab Today, arab today Actress Mona Zaki praises husband’s role

GMT 08:15 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Actress Mona Zaki praises husband’s role
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race

GMT 08:57 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Actress Shery Adel happy for Egypt’s qualification

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 10:18 2017 Saturday ,21 October

How to do open-heart surgery

GMT 13:44 2017 Friday ,20 October

Barcelona through George Orwell’s eyes

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday