Author Archives: Jeremy Arbid

Illustration by Joseph Kaï

A chance for Lebanon

A chance for Lebanon

In December Lebanon, alongside 194 other countries, was represented in Paris for what was expected to be another conference promising to mitigate pollution but delivering little in way of curbing the pace of climate change. After high profile conferences in Kyoto in 1997 and Copenhagen in 2009 failed to obligate countries to reduce pollution, the

Industry hunger

If last holiday season Lebanon asked Santa Claus for better conditions in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, then recipients were surely disappointed by what was placed in their stockings – a mix of promises and future hopes. The year started off under duress for the food industry and agriculture producers with a food safety campaign

Seeking integration at home and abroad

  In 2015 Lebanon’s agriculture sector witnessed several setbacks. Prior to the Syrian crisis, the sector had been picking up steam – exports of raw produce and agro-industrial products were increasing quite rapidly. The disruption of transit routes raised the cost of land transport – a change of route and the paying off of militias

Export dynamics

2015 has been a tumultuous year for Lebanon’s food industrialists. The Ministry of Public Health’s food safety campaign greatly impacted Lebanese consumables in foreign markets, while the closure of traditional land routes raised the cost of exports. Despite these changes, however, the sub-sector has seen an uptick in investment and potential new markets and trade

Make it or break it

With Lebanon’s economy stuck in a rut, only limited options remain available to support the country’s struggling manufacturing sector. Executive sat down with the person at the helm of the sector for an update on industrial and agricultural developments – Minister of Industry Hussein Hajj Hassan, whose long political career as a parliamentarian includes chairmanship

Jbeil’s power pursuits

In 2010, everything was looking up for Lebanon’s electricity sector. Gebran Bassil, then minister of energy and water, had put forth a master plan that by 2015 would have delivered 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity generated cheaply by clean burning natural gas. The plan, needless to say, did not fully materialize, leaving individual areas to

Troubled financial waters

The complications posed by the refugee crisis and stagnant legislature found Lebanon’s public finances in troubled waters. There have, however, been some positive developments. The Ministry of Finance has again issued Eurobonds – the purchasing of which has demonstrated a local appetite to continue financing public expenditures; it moved closer to reconciling public accounts and

Resource wealth buried under paperwork

Another year of waiting has come to pass and yet there is still no movement for Lebanon’s oil and gas sector. Is it a regional conspiracy to prevent the Lebanese government from taking its own decision, or is it the fault of American diplomats, as Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri claimed in November 2015? Almost

A wealth of data

The third time proved the charm for Italian oil and gas company ENI in the past 12 months. In late 2014 and early 2015, ENI and South Korean partner KOGAS found nothing when drilling offshore for hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). On August 30, 2015, however, the company announced the discovery of a

Greasy politics in oil and gas

A picture of Fouad Makhzoumi meeting Pope Francis sits on a mantel next to photos of other global figures in the salon of his multi-story mansion in Lebanon’s posh Ramlet el Baida district. Executive had asked for a meeting with the businessman, philanthropist, and politician to discuss Lebanon’s potential petroleum resources. Makhzoumi has thus far