Author Archives: Executive Staff

Fast Track to Growth

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

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

Tourism Voices – High flying times

Pierre Achkar: President of the Lebanese Hotel Association and owner of the Printania Palace Hotel in Broummana E: How many hotel rooms will Lebanon be able to offer its visitors by the end of 2005? How many should it be able to offer? What are the requirements for healthy and sustainable hotel industry development in

Banking Voices – Size still matters

Georges Abou Jawdeh: President, Lebanese Canadian Bank E: After encouraging developments on the interest rate front, Banque du Liban has once again adjusted the rates upwards. In such an environment, how can the banking sector develop a more efficient corporate and retail lending culture? Following the Paris II meeting for donor countries to Lebanon and

Real Estate Voices – No alternative to Lebanon

Nabil Gebrael: Chairman of Coldwell Banker Lebanon E: What should be done to achieve a more mature, transparent and regulated residential market? Nowadays, anyone in Lebanon can operate as a broker, which creates confusion and mistrust in the market. I believe in regulating the market through licensing and continuous education. In a regulated industry, real

Q&A: Jean Riachi

E: What is the core requirement for a financial company to be successful in Beirut? In general, for a financial company to be successful, it has to be focused on its lines of business and on its friends. When you are in Beirut, you need to compete with local competition but also with foreign competition.

Q&A:Ineke Botter

Running a mobile telecommunications network in Lebanon has in recent years presented itself as profound challenge, not only in terms of achieving operational excellence but also as quest demanding ultimate skills in diplomacy. With new management contracts for the mobile sector in place since mid 2003, EXECUTIVE ventured into the challenging exercise of asking what

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