Economics & Policy articles

Lebanon’s Fragile Strength

As we keep hammering in many articles, the end game for a country like Lebanon is to attract and keep foreign investors. The thinking goes that foreign investment in the private sector will serve to offset the debt-laden public sector and help fuel economic growth. As eloquently put by our economics minister, economic growth needs

Time is ripe for tough reform

The assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri on Valentine’s Day 2005, highlighted Lebanon’s economic vulnerability to sudden political and security events, as reflected in the significant slow down in economic activity; the massive decrease in GDP growth; and the rise of the proportion of public debt to government revenues. In the last quarter of

Getting the economy back on track

Mira Merhi Senior economist, ministry of economy and trade E Which sectors of the economy were most affected by the 2005 crisis? How is trade faring, given current relations with Syria? What are the government’s most immediate economic recovery plans? How does it plan to create growth? In 2005, the Lebanese economy witnessed a slowdown

Lebanon’s key industries splutter along

Before the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s industrialists were a fairly disgruntled lot. Okay, exports were 25% up on the previous year, but energy and communications costs remained astronomically high because of spiraling oil prices and government unresponsiveness or disinterestedness; state bureaucracy was suffocating; the economy was stagnant; and corruption was rampant.

Mohamed shabib – General manager, MTC Touch

Executive talks to Mohamed Shabib, general manager of MTC Touch, one of the two cellular phone management companies, on the state and development of Lebanon’s mobile telecom sector. E Following a year of challenges, do you see the Lebanese telecommunications industry as being in a better or worse position today than 12 months ago? We

Telecom reforms get jammed in the system

Another year has passed, yet it seems that time is at a standstill for the Lebanese telecom industry. To date, there has been no privatization, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is yet to appear, as is a third mobile operator, broadband internet access, and the reduction in call costs. It even seems that due to

Telecom sector hopes to pick up in 2006

Kamal Shehadi Managing director of Connexus Consulting E Now that the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) is being put on track with the search for a capable team, how long do you expect it to take until the agency can be fully operational and what should its first actions be? Secondly, is it possible to draw

Fadi Abboud: Lebanese association of industrialists

EXECUTIVE speaks to Fadi Abboud, head of the Lebanese Association of Industrialists, on the outlook for industry in the absence of government support, sizeable foreign investment and a fair playing field for regional trade. E Is the cardinal industry question, at this stage in Lebanon’s history, the cost of production or political stability? We can