|Media campaign promotes Lebanese industry
|Bumper stickers, billboards and television commercials will send a simple message to the Lebanese: "Love Lebanon. Love its industry." The wide media campaign, organized by the of Lebanese Industrialists Association (LIA) and the Industry Ministry, is another attempt to promote local products in a country which has a trade deficit of over $7 billion.
To show solidarity with the industrialists, Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel placed the bumper sticker in the back windshield of his car.
"The Lebanese should be proud of local industry which is on the same par with European and American counterparts," the minister said.
He added that the purpose of the media campaign was to draw the attention of consumers that some of the products they are buying were actually made in Lebanon.
The media campaign is being executed by advertising agency IMPACT/BBDO .
A 45-seconds television commercial will be aired soon to promote Lebanese made good.
LIA president Fadi Abboud underlined the importance of this media campaign.
"Lebanese industry is very crucial because its survival means there will be more job opportunities in the market," Abboud said.
Lebanese exports rose to nearly $1 billion in 2005 but despite this improvement, the trade deficit remained very high.
Lebanon imports almost $6 billion to $7 billion each year.
Italy, France and other European countries are the main trading partners for Lebanon.
But the media campaign may not be sufficient to induce Lebanese and other nationals to buy local goods.
Experts say that the cost of production is one of the highest in the region.
They added that the cost of labor, land and electricity eats up a big chunk of the total cost of products.
Abboud and the association have been lobbying hard to press the government into cutting prices of electricity and export fees.
Lebanon faces stiff competition from several emerging countries including Syria, Egypt, Turkey, China and Taiwan where the cost of labor and land are much cheaper than Lebanon.
The association is also urging the government to review most of the free-trade deals with Arab countries because they are not in Lebanon's favor.
The Daily Star