The Ministry of Industry (MoI) issued 957 industrial permits last year, an increase of 47 percent compared to 2017. These include new establishment licenses, expansion approvals, exploitation permits, and renewals.
“A wide range of the permits were issued to factories that had been operating without licenses after warnings were issued by MoI to several factories to [encourage them to] get licensed,” said Dany Gedeon, Director General at MoI.
The MoI issued 261 licenses for the establishment of new factories last year, a 35 percent increase compared to the preceding year. Of these licenses, 56 were issued in the food industries, 34 for chemical industries, 21 for plastic and rubber industries, and 13 for electrical machinery industries.
“Most new investors are putting small [amounts of] capital in small enterprises,” said Mounir Bissat, Secretary General of the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries. He said that the industrial food sector is still attracting investors because demand for food remains high regardless of any economic situation.
Out of all the industrial permits, food industries topped the list of permits issued (263), accounting for 30 percent of the total number of new permits. Construction material industries ranked second with (118 licenses), accounting for 12 percent of the total.
Seven licenses were issued for heavy industrial factories (in the MoI’s first category of classification), 224 for ‘semi-heavy’ industrial factories (the second category), 315 licenses for ‘light’ industrial factories (the third category), 364 for ‘semi-light’ factories (the fourth category), and 47 licenses for very light industrial factories (the fifth category).
Industrial zones in Metn accounted for the lion’s share of approvals, with 159 licenses, followed by Zahle (101) and Aley (84).