Despite all odds, Lebanon yet again proved it can ride the waves of downtown and achieve reforms on multiple fronts.
The Lebanese parliament passed in 2018 seven laws with the majority tackling the business environment, a record number amidst the absence of a national government. 2018 was also marked by the Launch of the CEDRE reform program, a 22.9 Billion USD program aimed at boosting Lebanon's physical infrastructure.
On the investment front, while Foreign direct investment flows to the region have continued their continuous drop Lebanon has managed to maintain stable flows showcasing yet again investors' confidence in Lebanon. We expect this trend to continue given the number of investment deals that were brought forward to IDAL across various productive sectors. We at the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon have focused our strategy on "the fourth generation" of investment promotion, namely, targeting sustainable FDI and have drafted and launched the first national cluster strategy for Lebanon that we are working on adopting in 2019 and implementing across all regions of Lebanon. Our first pilot project will be implemented in the Iklim region and will promote traditional Lebanese industries.
In parallel we have led in partnership with the UN Agency for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) the launch of the first Investment Policy Review (IPR) on Lebanon. The report was launched in Geneva and garnered the commitment of multiple donors to support Lebanon in reforming its business environment. Based on that, IDAL's priority for 2019 will actively coordinate with concerned government agencies to implement the IPR recommendations.
Finally I would like to wish you all a Happy and Fruitful year.