Author Archives: Executive Staff

Sami Haddad

Sami Haddad

Following an exceptionally tortuous government formation process, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora unveiled a 24-member cabinet on July 19. Among the new faces on the political scene was Sami Haddad, brought in from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the World Bank’s private sector arm – to head the ministry of economy and trade. Armed with

Fast Track to Growth

Until the assassination of Mr. Hariri and the subsequent uncertainty, Lebanon had, for the previous 18 months, enjoyed relatively robust economic activity, which allowed for the replenishment of reserves, better GDP growth in 2004, vigorous financial sector liquidity, and, through swaps, more efficient management of the country’s debt stock, which in turn allowed for the

Q & A: Fouad Siniora – Forward thinking

Former finance minister Fouad Siniora has been involved in the shaping of the country’s economic policies for the past 12 years as cabinet member and key right hand man of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Although he moved to the top post at Hariri-affiliated Banque Méditerranée at the beginning of 2005, from the day

Q&A: Pascal Gauvin, GM Phoenicia

The massive explosion that ripped through former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s motorcade also damaged the nearby Phoenicia Intercontinental, arguably the jewel in Lebanon’s post-war tourist sector. On the day of the bomb, was running at 80% occupancy. Since then, the hotel has been losing tens of thousands of dollars a day and when EXECUTIVE

Q&A: Semaan Bassil

E: Byblos Bank today is very active in addressing new markets. What are the most important developments and what are the reasons behind them? Three years ago, the bank set up a strategy to start focusing outside of Lebanon, because the economy of Lebanon is small and our bank is big compared to the size

Q&A: Fateh Bekdache

E: Is insurance awareness growing in Lebanon? Definitely; for several reasons. The first boost was the introduction of compulsory insurance for expatriates working in Lebanon. Before, there had been many stories about foreign workers having problems. The introduction of this insurance requirement helped not only the ministry and eliminated problems with embassies, but it also

Insurance Voices – Taking the pulse

Walid Genadry: Head of the ministry of economy & trade’s Insurance Control Commission (ICC) E: The supervision of sector companies and implementation of a fair regulatory framework are crucial for the sector and for your mandate as head of the ICC. What are your expectations as far as further improving sector compliance with supervisory requirements

Q&A: Jacques Sarraf

E: The Malia Group reached a milestone with 50 years of industrial production of cosmetics. Where were the challenges you encountered in building an enterprise in the Lebanese environment? Within 50 years, we have undergone three different ages as a group: from 1950 until 1975, from 1975 until 1990, from 1990 until 2004. Each phase

Q&A: Elie Nakhal

E: How many non-Arab tourists are coming to Lebanon? Lebanon has passed through several stages with respect to non-Arab tourists. We had a period of unfortunate events from 1975 to 1990. After that, we tried hard to get non-Arab tourists to come here. Our efforts were not always successful, despite the fact that we invited

Industry Voices – Light at end of tunnel?

Ramzi Ghosn: Proprietor, Massaya Winery E: Our industry has been forced to seek out new and sustainable export markets and been moderately successful. How can other sectors within the manufacturing or agro-industry replicate this success? To be successful you need a comparative advantage. In the local wine industry, our comparative advantage is the fact that

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