Economics & Policy articles

Far off the target

Far off the target

In the first of a twelve-month series investigating Lebanon’s capacity to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gaelle Kibranian Zavzavadjian, Stephanie Nakhel and Gebran Azar take a look at Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. The Lebanese are blessed with favorable amounts of precipitation, with the highest average rainfall of any country in the

De-risking green power

Lebanon’s energy sector is characterized by a significant supply-demand imbalance, continuing growth in demand (5 percent per year), high generation costs (partly due to aging infrastructure), and a lack of financial sustainability. Electricité du Liban (EDL) cannot recover its operating costs and depends on the Lebanese government to subsidize operations. In 2013, EDL received transfers

Video: Natacha Tannous interviews Makram Azar about banking, US and European Macro Economics and the Middle East

Makram Azar is Chairman of Banking EMEA and Chairman of Barclays Bank PLC, MENA. Makram also chairs the Senior Client Group globally. Mr. Azar joined Barclays in September 2010 from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) where he was Managing Director and Head of Middle East and North Africa. Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Azar

Tax squeeze

Lebanon is closer to ratifying a national budget than it has been in recent memory. For the past 12 years, the country has not passed a budget into law. In recent years the roadblock has been, at least publicly, a salary increase for certain public sector workers. The debate is taking place in a fiscal

The long goodbye

As could have been expected, chaos is ensuing. While the situation is not as dire as it was in the hectic summer of 2015 – when protests raged and trash burned on the streets of the capital and its environs – waste in Lebanon is still far from well-managed. One full year after Tammam Salam’s

Vital and seeking vibrancy

The numbers for overall premiums growth, penetration and density in the Lebanese insurance market in 2017 may not bring huge surprises. In 2016 the sector delivered 3 percent nominal growth in gross premiums, from $1.52 billion in 2015 to $1.56 billion, according to the latest quarterly report of the Association of Insurance Companies of Lebanon

The battle between good and evil goes virtual

The serpent’s tale is a powerful narrative that has captured man’s attention over millennia. The contemporary version of the story goes something like this: the digital garden at first was created as a lush world filled with smart gadgets, useful computer programs, fun games, social networks and great business opportunities. People were delighted with these

Interview with a public servant

As part of our quest for highlighting possible future avenues of progress in the Lebanese Republic, Executive discussed the issue and importance of the 2017 budget with Alain Bifani, director general at the Ministry of Finance. In the course of the interview, the general director also commented on the systemic aspects of the public administration’s

Yossi Alpher, No End of Conflict

Yossi Alpher, a veteran of Israel’s intelligence services, starts “No End of Conflict” with a personal and emotional account of his role in an attempt to reunite two sisters from the Holy Land, separated since 1947 – first by their choosing different paths in life and later because of the new borders imposed on Palestine

Shedding light on a black market

This past November Lebanese authorities disrupted a smuggling operation that had evaded detection for over a decade. The items trafficked were mobile phones to the tune of 2.5 million devices valued at some $45 million during the network’s lifespan, local media reported. The trafficking network’s alleged mastermind? Kamel Amhaz. The name might sound familiar. Just

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