A worker stands atop a truck as it is loaded at the port in Beirut, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said Thursday he was planning to gradually impose Customs duties on certain imported commodities in order to protect the Lebanese industrial sector.Lebanese industrial exports plunged by some 9.2 percent in the first eight months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, despite the government's ongoing efforts to open up new markets for local industries, according to statistics issued by the Industry Ministry in December of 2014 .He also questioned how Lebanon could have a prosperous agro food industry if it had to import empty jars and bottles from abroad.He said the cost of energy for energy-intensive industries constitutes around 35 percent of the sales price. Gemayel stressed that many countries levy very high Customs duties and many have even increased tariffs before joining the WTO, while Lebanon continues to impose very low Customs duties.
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