Author Archives: Paul Cochrane

A potentially disastrous diesel plan

A potentially disastrous diesel plan

Reading Time: 3 minutes   In March this year the government drafted a law for the importation and use of cars that run on ultralow-sulfur diesel, also known as “green” diesel, in compliance with the European Union’s Euro 5 emissions standards. Though the law is still awaiting ratification, dealerships are up in arms about the plan, describing it as

Big sales for small cars

Reading Time: 8 minutes If you go by the headlines in financial reports, the car market is doing surprisingly well given the staid economic climate;  growth of 7.6 percent was registered in the first eight months of the year, relative to 2011, and up 2.1 percent on the same period in 2010. But delve further into the Automobile Importers

Tweeted into shame

Reading Time: 3 minutes Social media’s role in bringing about progressive change is a hot topic in the Middle East as much as, if not more than, elsewhere given the ongoing debate about its use in the Arab uprisings. On a collective level it is hard to gauge due to the multitude of factors that contribute to people taking

Q&A: Vrej Sbounjian

Reading Time: 5 minutes Lebanon’s productive sectors are often short-changed in favor of tourism, real estate and banking. What’s more, Minister of Industry Vrej Sbounjian commands a paltry budget of LL7.71 billion ($5.14 million). In such an environment the nation’s industrialists need a well-informed fighter holding their corner in the Cabinet.  Executive met with the minister to see if

Q&A: Neemat Frem

Reading Time: 5 minutes Neemat Frem is the president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, chief executive officer at INDEVCO Group and founder of technology service provider Phoenix Machinery. He recently sat down with Executive to discuss the state of the industrial sector in the face of regional turmoil, high energy costs and the economic downturn in Lebanon. Let’s

Outside the box

Reading Time: 6 minutes To Lebanon’s older generation, Carosserie Abillama is a household name, with ‘Abillama’ stenciled on the back of nearly every truck, tipper, tanker or ambulance in the country. The company, which has been around since 1933, is still at the forefront of trailer manufacturing and other automotive add-ons, although its name does not stand out as

Exports in mayhem

Reading Time: 4 minutes Syrian industry has been seriously hit by the ongoing conflict, suffering from a lack of raw materials, workers, energy and capital amid heightened risk. Multinational companies such as Proctor & Gamble that sold fast-moving consumer goods exited the Syrian market last November when European Union sanctions went into effect. Turkey has not filled any supply

Round-about routes

Reading Time: 3 minutes If the Syrian crisis escalates further and the border with Syria closes, Lebanon would be cut off from the rest of the region with the only way in and out being by sea or air. So far the border has remained open, but the Syrian conflict has already caused a significant drop in cross-border trade

Keeping alight the spark

Reading Time: 8 minutes Lebanese industry has been dealt many a bad card in its recent history. Yet when the sector went through a five-year boom, with exports nearly doubling in value from $2.17 billion in 2006 to $4.059 billion in 2010, it seemed as if industry had finally found some playable hands. The sector could raise the stakes,

Buy Lebanese, please

Reading Time: 3 minutes A new campaign was launched in September by the Ministry of Industry and the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) with the slogan “Your industry, your identity: Buy Lebanese.” It is aimed at giving the sector a boost in the current economic downturn, given that some 60 percent of the manufacturing industry’s sales are local. It