Comment articles

Let’s have a serious talk about drugs

Let’s have a serious talk about drugs

The cannabis debate never completely goes away in Lebanon. This is not surprising, given that the country is a major producer and consumer of the psychoactive plant. Everyone who is anyone has an opinion on the drug, usually expressed through impactless sound bites. The discussion was reignited on June 18 by an Internal Security Forces

Refugee rights not up for debate

In the past month, Lebanon has seen a number of troubling developments regarding the presence of Syrian refugees, with leading politicians heightening calls for the return of refugees to Syria and making unfounded accusations of an international conspiracy to settle them in Lebanon. As countries around the world have turned their backs on refugees, Lebanon

No growth without reform

Within a period of six weeks last spring, Lebanon received an attentive treatment from the international community. On March 15 in Rome, an international meeting was held to support Lebanon’s armed and security forces. Afterwards in Paris on April 6, world leaders convened to offer Lebanon substantial foreign aid to bolster its economy at the

Securing our energy future

Worldwide electricity consumption is estimated to grow from  around 20,000 terawatt hours (TWh) today to 35,000 TWh in 2030, putting energy security at the forefront of future planning. While in the past, energy security was largely focused on oil supply, and natural gas supplies were not globally integrated, today a global market in natural gas

Closing the infrastructure gap in Lebanon

With the world’s population expected to grow by 2 billion—reaching almost 9.5 billion by 2040—one of the major structural changes that would need to keep pace is the development of infrastructure. The world is expected to need close to 100 trillion dollars worth of infrastructure investment by 2040, mainly in developing countries, according to estimates

Offshore petroleum investments made riskier

In light of the recent Lebanon Investment in Infrastructure Conference as well as the highly anticipated  CEDRE conference (also known as Paris IV), it is undeniable that attracting private investment is Lebanon’s top priority. This comes shortly after the country signed petroleum contracts with international oil companies (IOCs) for the exploration and production of offshore

Lebanese in Brazil will not vote come May

The Lebanese parliamentary elections on May 6 are bound to make history, as, for the first time ever, Lebanese residing abroad have been granted the right to vote. Their appetite to do so, however, has so far appeared to be rather humble. In total, 82,900 Lebanese abroad have registered to vote, according to  the official

VAT rises from 10 to 11 percent

Since at least 2011, the IMF has urged the Lebanese government to increase its VAT rate and to broaden the tax’s base by lowering exemptions. After this year’s increase of the VAT standard rate by 1 percent, from 10 to 11 percent, Lebanon’s VAT rate is still the second-lowest in the region after Djibouti, and

A nudge in the right direction

From preventing simple traffic violations to curbing rampant corruption, ensuring compliance with the rule of law in Lebanon is a serious challenge for policymakers. Heavy-handed controls often do not work, as they rely on individuals making rational decisions, and financial incentives are not sustainable in the long-run. What else can the government do to improve

Strengthen our environmental protections

As Lebanon gears up to explore for offshore oil and gas resources, it is critical that environmental protection is a front and center priority. Oil and gas development activities have high environmental risks that could impact Lebanese communities living along the coast, as well as businesses working in the fishery, tourism, and shipping sectors. To

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