Dear Readers

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.

Nabil Itani
Chairman- General Manager

This year Lebanon's economy has managed to sustain a stable growth and pass a series of reforms that would in the immediate to medium run boost the business environment and create jobs. 
Among these reforms:

  • Over 75 investment projects were announced in 2018 with one major American company opening in the Bekaa to prepare for the reconstruction of Syria and Iraq
  • The tourism sector is taking center stage in local investments with an estimated announced project of USD 260 million 
  • Innovation driven projects were a key driver for economic growth with an estimated greenfield investment of USD 29.6 million 
  • A national strategy for clusters was launched by IDAL to promote regional development 
  • The Lebanese parliament passed 7 law in 2018. The Laws are aimed at improving the business environment, namely e-Transaction Law, Judicial Mediation Law and Transparency Law in the oil and gas sector 
  • A National Economic Vision was drafted by the national government to activate investment development and support long-term economic growth (not adopted yet)
  • The Lebanese government launched the CEDRE reform program to boost infrastructure investment across Lebanon 
  • The first Investment Policy Review was launched by UNCTAD under the support of IDAL paving the way for improving the business environment 
  • The Lebanese government awarded projects for leading foreign companies to boost the internet speed from 2-4MB/s to more than 50 MB/s
  • Automation of procedures has taken the place in many ministries paving the way for a leaner national government (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform)
  • USD 43 million were granted by the World Bank to modernize the digital land registry and cadaster system
  • A new unit was launched by the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon to support start-ups leading to more than 60 start-ups receiving legal assistance from IDAL and more than 40  getting the chance to participate in international fairs to export their products 
  • A new initiative was launched by the Prime Minister Office to support innovation in agriculture paving the way for improving the livelihood of an increasing labor force 
  • Berytech announced the opening of a new incubator in Amchit, increasing regional outreach for start-ups 
  • CMA CGM signed a partnership agreement with incubator SMART ESA to provide start-ups with an incubator program
  • Mobile Phone Operators Alfa and Touch to invest USD 48 million in Lebanese ICT start-ups
IDAL | Investment Development Authority of Lebanon | +961 (0) 1 983306 |

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