Special Report articles

Outside the box

To Lebanon’s older generation, Carosserie Abillama is a household name, with ‘Abillama’ stenciled on the back of nearly every truck, tipper, tanker or ambulance in the country. The company, which has been around since 1933, is still at the forefront of trailer manufacturing and other automotive add-ons, although its name does not stand out as

Exports in mayhem

Syrian industry has been seriously hit by the ongoing conflict, suffering from a lack of raw materials, workers, energy and capital amid heightened risk. Multinational companies such as Proctor & Gamble that sold fast-moving consumer goods exited the Syrian market last November when European Union sanctions went into effect. Turkey has not filled any supply

Round-about routes

If the Syrian crisis escalates further and the border with Syria closes, Lebanon would be cut off from the rest of the region with the only way in and out being by sea or air. So far the border has remained open, but the Syrian conflict has already caused a significant drop in cross-border trade

Keeping alight the spark

Lebanese industry has been dealt many a bad card in its recent history. Yet when the sector went through a five-year boom, with exports nearly doubling in value from $2.17 billion in 2006 to $4.059 billion in 2010, it seemed as if industry had finally found some playable hands. The sector could raise the stakes,

Prosperity’s diseases

The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have young populations and are economically classified as emerging markets, but in terms of public health they already rival the problems of much more developed countries. Epidemic health problems such as overeating, high-sugar diets, and a lack of physical exertion are eroding the gains in health and

To Dubai for diagnosis

When Maria Carballo recently returned to her job with an airline in the United Arab Emirates, she felt fortunate. Her tests after completing treatment for breast cancer had shown that she was free of the disease. She also felt that she had made the right decision to choose not Dubai for her therapy but a

A healthy market

With an entrenched sedentary lifestyle, junk food as part of the daily diet, a climate that discourages outdoor walking, an aging population and a good few genetic predispositions, the outlook for healthcare costs in the Gulf is both devastating and titillating. Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S) calculated the rise in per capita expenditure on

Q&A – Issam Hitti

Insurance broking is a business of consulting and risk advisory that historically bears the onus of being the “middle man”, with all the common questions of what value this function brings with it. Executive sat down with Issam Hitti, the president of the Lebanese Insurance Brokers Syndicate (LIBS) to find out how the brokers are

Orange scheme crashes

It ain’t broken, but the economy underlying one of the Lebanese motor insurance industry’s specialities has vanished. While the Orange Card system for cross-border liability insurance protection of Arab motorists is functionally fine, commercially speaking, Lebanese administrators tell Executive that business has fallen precipitously – premiums have roughly halved and sales are almost non-existent. Data

Weathering the rainy days

It has been said with some justification that the global economy could be saved from recession if enough people collectively started believing that the end of the world was upon us. Pre-apocalyptic consumer spending would skyrocket and blow the lid off all current growth restraints. But it is questionable if people would think to spend