A nudge in the right direction

From preventing simple traffic violations to curbing rampant corruption, ensuring compliance with the rule of law in Lebanon is a serious challenge for policymakers. Heavy-handed controls often do not work, as they rely on individuals making rational decisions, and financial incentives are not sustainable in the long-run. What else can the government do to improve

The new PPP law

Previous experience in a number of countries has proven that public-private partnerships (PPP) are an efficient method for developing long-term infrastructure projects. Under a PPP model, the government remains focused on its primary regulatory role, while the private sector injects funds and expertise into developing projects for the benefit of the government and, ultimately, the

Making the most of it

Amartya Sen, the Indian economist and philosopher, wrote in a 2001 essay that in a world afflicted with “the deeply unequal sharing of the burden of adversities between women and men,” gender inequality must be understood as a “collection of disparate and interlinked problems.” Gender inequality is reflected in laws, regulations, rights, norms, responsibilities, and

A community effort

Executive sat down with the country’s first-ever minister of state for women’s affairs, Jean Oghassabian. The ministry was launched one year ago with a mandate to empower and protect women and promote and develop gender equality in Lebanon. E   This is the first term for you as minister of women’s affairs and, in fact,

The countdown to political progress

This year will see some economic actors sitting in the sun. It does not require special astrological powers to predict that the first half of 2018 will be good for the bottom lines of local advertising companies, social media platforms, billboard operators, pollsters, and audiovisual companies. Driving down any urban highway or country road and

Moving into a new world of parliamentary participation

At the end of February 2018, German women did it again. Chancellor Angela Merkel—supposedly the most powerful woman in the world, if one believes Forbes—won her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party’s election overwhelmingly to form a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had been hotly debated at the party and national level

A roadmap for 2018

This article was originally published in print on February 2, 2018 as part of Executive’s special report on oil & gas. At the end of January, Lebanon signed oil and gas Exploration and Production Agreements (EPA) with a consortium of companies composed of France’s Total (as operator), Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Novatek. The consortium had

Mother Lebanon

Beirut is depicted as a woman by many renowned artists, like Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, who—during the 1982 Israeli invasion—drew a caricature of his iconic character Handala offering a flower through a hole in the wall to a woman that he named Beirut. She is the patient carrier of our painful history, she is the

Cheers for the beers

Compared to the ancient history of beer in the Middle East, Lebanon’s small craft breweries are extremely new on the scene. The earliest evidence of beer brewing was found in Mesopotamia some 6,000 years ago, while the world’s oldest brewery, which was located in Egypt, dates to around 3400 BC. Beer eventually made it to

In high spirits

Behind that flute of prosecco or gin-based cocktail enjoyed at a bar after a long day—or even the single malt whisky or bottle of wine recommended by a premium specialty liquor boutique—there is an intricate distribution chain. Executive sat down with Lebanon’s major spirit importers and brand owners to discuss the Lebanese drinks of choice

Bringing order to the Order

After living in France for 30 years, Jad Tabet, an architect and urban planner, returned to Lebanon early last year to run for the presidency of the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut (OEA), an independent trade syndicate covering all Lebanese regions bar the North. Tabet campaigned as an independent against Paul Najem, a

Is Lebanon technologically ready to tackle growth?

In March 2017, The Economist reported that Intel, the giant American chipmaker, paid $15.3 billion for Mobileye, an Israeli firm at the forefront of developing autonomous-car technology. The deal was not the first to involve an Israeli tech firm attracting foreign buyers, but it was the biggest yet. The Mobileye acquisition is an example of

Legal aspects of digital currencies

In the virtual Wild West of the digital economy created by the internet revolution, the emergence realm of cryptocurrency represents an important legal frontier. The rise of cryptocurrencies can be thought of as a digital-money revolution. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to transform the way people view money, how they transact, and even the overall structure

Lebanon hops on the crypto train

Antoine Yazbek and Zaki Soubra are budding Lebanese cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, and they radiate seriousness in their endeavor. As a journalist, one is inclined to consider an entrepreneur serious if they answer a series of probing interview questions without losing their temper at the intrepid—or sometimes just intractable—media type across the table. A more general measure

Seeking crypto transparency

The concepts and realities of digital currencies are, at best, confusing. To understand more about the Lebanese cryptocurrency community, and the opportunities that the cryptocurrency economy opens for Lebanese business and banks—including the idea of a sovereign digital currency issued by Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s central bank—Executive sat down with Stéphane Abichaker. A locally well