Author Archives: Joe Dyke

Blue Gold aims to improve Lebanon's water system

Can civil society save Lebanon’s water?

A completely new future for Lebanon’s water network; taking the sector out of the control of feuding politicians and into the realm of citizen control. Well at least that’s how it was billed. The launch of the Blue Gold initiative, the first project from the newly-formed Civic Influence Hub (CIH), in early December was supported

Back in the black

There were very few positives for the Lebanese economy in 2013, but the industrial sector was perhaps one of them. If 2011 and 2012 were years of crisis — with the Syrian civil war destroying trade routes and wreaking havoc with business plans — 2013 was a year of adaption and stabilization. In the first

‘We couldn’t do anything in 2013’

By his own admission, caretaker Minister of Economy and Trade Nicolas Nahas has had a frustrating year — as a member of a resigned government, unable to implement policy, but still blamed for the stagnating economy. Executive sat down with him to discuss the impact of the conflict in Syria and the formation of a

‘We have tried to attract Syrian industrialists’

Vrej Sabounjian is perhaps the most positive person in Lebanon. Despite worsening security conditions, a refugee influx and a stagnant economy the country’s caretaker minister of industry is convinced that there are plenty of opportunities — companies just need to find them. Executive met with him to discuss his record in 2013. When this government

Potholes in the road to extraction

Lebanon’s progress towards extracting its offshore oil and gas in 2013 could perhaps be summed up by a version of the somewhat hackneyed phrase ‘one step forward and one (possibly two) steps back’. The first six months of the year things appeared to be moving like clockwork. Energy Minister Gebran Bassil was powering (critics would

The lost year

In discussions of the economy in 2013, one word is ubiquitous — Syria. Lebanon, as the feuding state’s smallest neighbor and the one with the largest number of refugees, has been the most heavily affected by the civil war. In January there were 165,000 registered refugees in Lebanon. As Executive went to print, that number

Lebanese industry’s coping strategies

The climate for Lebanese industrialists is perhaps the toughest it has been since the Civil War. A combination of geopolitical turmoil, challenging economic conditions and a lack of political support are working against them. In these circumstances companies need to have smart survival strategies. Executive talked to three companies taking very different routes through these