Economics & Policy articles

Better to have than to have not

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

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

Don’t get caught up in the hype

It is tempting for resource-poor countries to overestimate the promise of newly discovered hydrocarbon resources, particularly in times of need. Cyprus’ experience after the discovery of the Aphrodite gas field in late 2011 is revealing. Back then, during a time of economic crisis, many placed unrealistic expectations on this potential offshore wealth, hoping  it would

The illusion of change

Lebanon is set to elect 128 Members of Parliament (MPs) on May 6, based on a long-awaited proportional system. Proportionality, in theory, ensures better representation of the population by allocating for each list a number of seats that is proportional to the number of votes it received. This is a clear step up from the

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

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

Troubled and troublesome

Every stroll in the Eastern Mediterranean lands means walking in the presence of some historic reference. Transformed into politics and national ideologies, history has long been a tool of identity building. When looking at identity politics, these days may we squirm over the rise of new, presumably white identity politics in the United States or

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

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