Author Archives: Jeremy Arbid

High oil prices and a weak dollar hurt the Lebanese

High oil prices and a weak dollar hurt the Lebanese

It is August in Lebanon, which means stifling heat during the day, and humidity that hugs the skin late into the evening like a hot, wet blanket. Traffic jams choking major roads and garbage washing ashore make beating the heat at the beach less appealing, and, adding to the woe, a seaside lunch is becoming

Iran showdown threatens Lebanon’s economy

It is common knowledge that Lebanon is in an economic rut. The six-year war in neighboring Syria has negatively impacted the local economy, just as domestic politics, particularly the two and a half year presidential void, eroded confidence and piled on pressure. While government formation following May parliamentary elections has carried on through the summer,

Efforts to legally monetize Lebanon’s cannabis

If you ask the farmers of the Bekaa Valley, they will explain that cannabis cultivation in Lebanon predates the establishment of Lebanon’s republic by generations. Located some 30 kilometers east of the capital Beirut and nestled between the western Mount Lebanon range and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains to the east, the Bekaa Valley has for a

Promoting peace in the Mideast

Executive sat with Matahiro Yamaguchi, Japan’s ambassador to Lebanon, to discuss the country’s humanitarian aid to Lebanon, April’s CEDRE infrastructure investment conference, and prospects for peaceful resolutions to the region’s conflagrations. E   The Japanese Embassy is now funding a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)-designed project targeting job creation, productivity gains, and market access

Running a once famed industry

Lebanon’s furniture making tradition dates back thousands of years—thanks, in large part, to the cedar tree, the country’s national symbol. Historical records and religious texts often reference the high quality of Lebanese cedar wood, and its renown across the region as an important building resource and a material for luxury furniture. More recently, furniture making

Better to have than to have not

A legal challenge of the 2018 budget law taken to the Constitutional Council, Lebanon’s highest court, threatened to cancel what was the country’s second state budget passed in the last six months, on the back of no budget at all for almost 12 years. Parliament ratified the 2018 budget without approving an audit of public

The noose around Lebanon

Over 300 days have passed since Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s prime minister, stood on the White House lawn next to Donald Trump as the US President promised an answer to the “menace” of Hezbollah within 24 hours. That answer did not materialize in the form of a comprehensive foreign policy or as diplomatic niceties, at least

Mapping the money

At the end of March, Lebanon passed the 2018 state budget, the second budget passed in a six-month period after almost 12 years wihout any budget at all. The 2018 state budget features a 0.06 percent decrease in total spending compared against the 2017 state budget, with current expenditures declining 4 percent and capital expenditures

Budgeting for the future

Lebanon passed its second state budget in less than six months at the end of March, after being without one for almost 12 years. The 2018 state budget was hastily pushed through cabinet and Parliament ahead of early April’s CEDRE infrastructure investment conference in Paris, and it mandated spending cuts meant to please international donors.

Signed in pencil

Officials went to Paris in early April to pitch an infrastructure investment plan for Lebanon to the international community at the CEDRE conference. The pitch was generally well received by donor countries and multilateral institutions, who pledged $11.3 billion in low-interest loans for infrastructure projects on the condition that Lebanon check reform boxes on the

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