Amid the economic meltdown and the continued deterioration of the citizen’s purchasing power, more people in Lebanon have become reliant on subsidized products to secure their basic needs.
However, despite it being true that subsidized products are generally the cheaper option, there are some imported goods in Lebanon today that are even cheaper.
The Lebanese market is full of imported commodities coming from Syria, Egypt, and Turkey that are cheaper than locally-produced, state-supported products, in some cases by up to 30%.
“The problem is in the adopted subsidy mechanism, whereby national industries that prefer exports are supported,” Mohammad Shamseddine, a researcher at Information International, tells El-Nashra.
According to Shamseddine, this flaw in Lebanon’s subsidy system has manifested in the presence of Lebanese goods in other countries, while cheaper, foreign ones are present in Lebanon and get favored by the citizen.
Nonetheless, the researcher believes that the situation will change soon, taking into account the continued collapse of the Lebanese pound against the U.S. dollar.
He argues that in the coming two months, local products should become cheaper than imported ones, given that import takes place through hard currencies, as the production of Lebanese factories is supposed to increase with their opening after their closure due to the COVID-19 mitigative measures.