Saturday, July 8, 2023

I want to love Lebanese industry, but it does not seem to love me back.

Yes, yes, I am all for "made in Lebanon". I sincerely am.

Remember the lovely slogan that the then Minister of Industry (the late) Pierre Gemayel coined? "Bit7eb Lebnen 7eb Sina3to"? You love Lebanon, love its industry. Brilliant. I also explained prior where it came from here.

So the other day I was at the supermarket, and I was getting a laundry detergent. Obviously I checked a leading local brand like the good patriot that I am. Then out of curiosity I also saw Persil - by Henkel - the internationally leading brand which is imported and therefore has import tariff taxes on it, ergo according to logic, it was more expensive. Not only did Persil have an extra liter in it, it was cheaper than the Lebanese manufactured. Call me unpatriotic but damn it, guess which one I picked?

Yesterday a friend went to visit a local shoe manufacturer who for a long time was known for it good quality and reasonable prices. Well, I am not sure if the quality is still as good, but my friend came appalled - the prices were now sky high. The sneaker that was previously affordable is now more expensive than an Adidas or a Nike. In the same token of logic, guess what my friend ended up purchasing?

Now let's move to chocolate. I am diabetic, so technically I should be off them. Well, technically. But honestly, mother likes a small bite of chocolate so I end up purchasing them (mostly for her. Mostly hehe). But again, the same "no sugar added" locally produced chocolate is indeed more expensive than one coming from abroad. 

Look, I know about economies of scale and the more a factory produces the lower the price etc. But also, remember, I lost all my money at the bank and am trying to do the maximum with a very limited monthly budget. So I am truly price sensitive as a customer at this point. And I really, really want to love our local industry as the late Pierre Gemayel invited me to do. Sadly, it seems the industry does not love me back.