About Michel Chiha

Family, Childhood, Career

About Chiha Foundation

Role of Custom Duties

…“the youth of this country must not get it wrong! They have to know that our country requires extensive patience because therein lies its safest course…”

Sunday Sentiments, M.C., Le Jour,  May 18th, 1947.


…“Our policies resemble a minor debt that must be paid off in weekly instalments. Neither gratifying nor reassuring it is an extortionate form of credit. Every missed payment eats away a little more of the country’s heritage. This is no way to build a future…”

“the Government and the Chamber have led us to this state of affairs through a number of unchecked and unlimited reciprocal concessions. We need a new start and a new political approach. Without re-imposing self-control, we will go from extortion to disorder to abdication…”

Lebanese Politics (cont’d), M.C., Le Jour,  March 8th, 1951.


“Customs revenue for the first trimester of 1954 was greater than that of 1953 which itself was greater than 1952, both for the same trimester as for the entire year. In the meantime, taxes however instead of being increased have been reduced. This means that this country’s foreign trade has prospered in spite of a fall in global prices and in spite of a lowering of certain custom duties…”

…“In so far as new taxes and new powers have been assumed by the Authorities, the State is duty-bound to undertake public works and to ensure fiscal liquidity…”

…“ We all know that Herculean public works were announced for the spring and summer and yet spring is already here, so perhaps we must await the summer as one did the Greek Calends…”

…“State paralysis is at fault, not foreign trade. Our foreign trade figures reflect remarkable robustness in spite of the vicissitudes of the last two years. Commerce and Industry lack direct and indirect support because of the State’s apathy and absence of fiscal liquidity…”

Our tax revenue is healthy, M.C., Le Jour April 6th, 1954.



…“Custom duties are not simply a country’s instrument of taxation; they are primarily the means to adapt foreign trade to fit the current state of that country’s industry and skills…

All things considered, Lebanon is a world-class trading nation and requires an enlightened customs policy. In fact, there is such a policy already in place albeit thwarted by pettiness and selfish interests…

…Lebanese custom taxes reflect the state of the Nation’s respiratory tract. An ailing respiratory system is a symptom of an inadequate taxation policy resulting in an ailing Seaport and an ailing Airport…”

Our a thriving Customs Service, M.C., Le Jour,  June 19th, 1954.