News dalla rete ITA

17 Marzo 2023

Stati Uniti - Libano


The United States Department of Commerce's 2022 Country Commercial Guide (CCG) for Lebanon indicated that, despite the small  size of its economy, Lebanon has offered unique market opportunities for U.S. firms, and that U.S. products and services have wide demand among Lebanese consumers. However, it noted that the recent challenging conditions that Lebanon has been facing could weigh  on the country's potential as a market for U.S. goods and services. It stressed that there will be opportunities for U.S. companies in  Lebanon if authorities implement overdue economic and governance reforms, attract foreign capital, stabilize the exchange rate, and  recapitalize the financial sector. It noted that Lebanon has the legal underpinnings of a free-market economy, a highly educated labor  force, and limited restrictions on investors, but it pointed out that the economic and financial crisis resulted in challenging market conditions. It added that the crisis disrupted the repatriation of profits by U.S. and other international firms, and that shortages of foreign  currency liquidity has led some contracts to be fulfilled in the local currency rather than in US dollars.   Furthermore, Lebanon has fragmented and opaque tendering and procurement  processes, which have been a deterrent for foreign investments.  The CCG said that the U.S. exported $767m worth of goods to Lebanon in 2021, which accounted for 5.6% of total Lebanese imports,  compared to U.S. exports of $936m or 8.2% of Lebanese imports in 2020. It noted that the U.S. was the fourth largest source of imports  to Lebanon in 2021, after Turkey, Greece and China. It added that major U.S. exports to Lebanon in 2021 were vehicles ($307m), chemical industrial products ($132m), machinery ($74m), vegetable products & prepared foodstuff ($60m), mineral fuel & oil ($59m), and  beverages & tobacco ($23m). Further, it indicated that leading Lebanese sectors for U.S. exports and investments are the automotive  market, the pharmaceuticals sector, medical equipment, the apparel sector, and the agricultural sector.  Also, it indicated that U.S. automotive exports to Lebanon rose from $102m in 2020 to $307m in 2021. It said that the total imports of  vehicles reached $1.1bn in 2021 relative to $472m in 2020, and that the U.S. share of the local market stood at 27% during the year. It  noted that demand for U.S. sport utility vehicles in Lebanon has been driven by their ability to withstand the country's poor road conditions and by their competitive prices. It anticipated that demand will remain for U.S. automotive products such as brakes, clutches,  engine lubricants and safety accessories because of their quality advantage over foreign competitors. It anticipated new car sales will  continue de decline, as it expected Lebanese consumers to favor used cars rather than new ones, and for the sales of electric and hybrid  cars to increase given increasing gas prices. As such, it projected U.S. automotive exports to Lebanon at $300m in each of 2022 and2023.  Further, the CCG said that U.S. pharmaceutical exports to Lebanon regressed from $120m in 2020 to $106m in 2021 and accounted for  11.7% of the country's total pharmaceutical imports. It added that U.S. pharmaceutical products have an advantage over their European  and Asian counterparts in the biotechnology, high-tech, anti-cancer and cardiovascular fields. It noted that the sector continues to face  several challenges, such as the high production cost of pharmaceuticals, the presence of counterfeit products, as well as a weak regulatory  framework governing pharmaceuticals. Also, it noted that local pharmaceutical companies are trying to increase domestic productionof medication to substitute for imports as a result of Lebanon's economic crisis and declining foreign currency reserves at Banque du  Liban (BdL). Still, it expected Lebanon to remain dependent on the import of pharmaceutical products, given that the country imports  approximately 80% of its pharmaceutical products for a cost of about $1bn annually, according to the Ministry of Public Health. It  pointed out that U.S. companies that are present in the Lebanese market are working on solutions, including stricter controls on medicine  distribution, in order to preserve their market share.  (ICE BEIRUT)

Fonte notizia: Byblos Bank, Lebanon This Week, 6 - 11 March 2023