Makram Azar

E   Where do you think the next economic bubble is? It’s the broadly defined technology sector, in which you need to differentiate how you approach and analyze each one of these ventures because some of them will be very successful – as the 90s showed us with Amazon, Google, Apple, etc. – yet, many of

Glittering in the shadows

Lebanon is historically notorious for its lack of metals and similar natural resources. This makes it even more astonishing that almost one quarter of Lebanese exports are constituted by a precious metal: gold. In 2016, non-monetary gold accounted for 23 percent of total exports, which were worth a little over $700 million according to customs

Transparency cookies are in the oven

The tools to monitor Lebanon’s hoped for oil and gas sector are nearly on the workbench. In January, the government committed itself to joining a global transparency initiative, and in March, a draft law promoting the future sector’s transparency was finally shown to the public. Taken together, they could help Lebanon build a clean oil

Maximizing oil and gas potential

In an effort to maximize the benefits for the local economy from the oil and gas industry, the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) has included provisions in the model exploration and production sharing agreements to help domestic companies. The contracts state that when oil and gas companies need to procure goods, they must give preference to

April 2017

EDITORIAL The devils must go LEADERS Stonewalled A mixed response: making use of the new law An industry-wide upgrade Overhaul in governance and legislation is required Taxation without representation Budgetary process must be transparent  COVER STORY Tax squeeze Online threats continue to proliferate  Taxing tax reforms Fresh thinking needed to secure the banking system Interview

March 2017

EDITORIAL Recourse to reform After a four-year Parliament extension, we demand elections in 2017 LEADERS Dashing our hopes for reform It’s time to break the silence on the CMA Protect us from the modern plague Lebanon remains overwhelmingly vulnerable to cyberwarfare Rare opportunity People now have the right to request information from government entities COVER STORY The

Investment expectations

Walid Nasr’s eyes rolled so far back his head, Executive worried he was having an episode. The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA)’s head of strategic planning was clearly disappointed. Only a few moments into an event organized by the Lebanese Forces, the emcee had wasted no time in estimating the value of Lebanon’s undiscovered offshore oil

Russian expansionism

There’s no shortage of headlines about Russia’s grand design for the East Mediterranean gas resources. An unrealistic understanding of the strategic significance of these resources and the role they could play in weaning Europe away from Russian gas fuels these claims. In reality, we have yet to see a Russian breakthrough in the upstream oil

Troubled waters

From a technical standpoint, the East Mediterranean is a challenge because the seabed is generally more than one thousand meters below the surface. Ultra-deep water, in industry parlance. From a geopolitical standpoint, the complexity is arguably even greater. Many problems among a variety of neighbors Production of East Med gas began in Egypt in the

Le Gray Grows

Situated across from Martyr’s Square with a view of the mountains over the Mediterranean, Le Gray hotel has been a prominent structure in downtown Beirut’s landscape since it was founded in October 2009. Operated by Campbell Gray Hotels and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, Le Gray Beirut is a luxury five

Don’t sweat the details

After a rocky start that saw a several-year delay of the sector’s development as a result of political squabbling, in late April the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) announced the oil and gas companies that will be eligible to bid for offshore exploration licenses in late. Executive lauds this milestone and hopes the

Self absorbed

Donkeys deserve more respect than they get. For some 5,000 years, humans have been using them as strong, reliable beasts of burden. We’ve made progress on the backs of these noble creatures, yet denounce them for a strength of will we praise in ourselves. Intransigence is in the eye of the taskmaster, it seems. Donkeys

The donkey strategy

A scantily clad singer belts out another frivolous song, and not only does her video clip get banned, she has her travel privileges revoked. A university blogger dares to criticize the system only to find himself officially ostracized and harassed. As this is taking place, a former head of Lebanon’s telecommunications company, himself under investigation

Of burgers and pizzas

It all started in 2010 with a small shop flipping burgers in a mainly residential area of Achrafieh facing Sodeco Square. Seven years later, Ministry of Food – the hospitality management company that owns the restaurant brands Classic Burger Joint (CBJ) and Tomatomatic – boasts a total of 30 CBJs and five Tomatomatics (with a

Bolstering Lebanon’s game development

With a touch of the screen, fat bunny bounces his way up the vibrantly colored mountain terrain, munching on the occasional carrot. Press too long or too little, however, and splat goes bunny into the mountainside – game over. Like many mobile games, Fat Bunny’s concept is simple, yet its gameplay addictive. It was launched

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