Author Archives: Jeremy Arbid

Efforts to legally monetize Lebanon’s cannabis

Efforts to legally monetize Lebanon’s cannabis

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you ask the farmers of the Bekaa Valley, they will explain that cannabis cultivation in Lebanon predates the establishment of Lebanon’s republic by generations. Located some 30 kilometers east of the capital Beirut and nestled between the western Mount Lebanon range and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains to the east, the Bekaa Valley has for a

Promoting peace in the Mideast

Reading Time: 6 minutes Executive sat with Matahiro Yamaguchi, Japan’s ambassador to Lebanon, to discuss the country’s humanitarian aid to Lebanon, April’s CEDRE infrastructure investment conference, and prospects for peaceful resolutions to the region’s conflagrations. E   The Japanese Embassy is now funding a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)-designed project targeting job creation, productivity gains, and market access

Running a once famed industry

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon’s furniture making tradition dates back thousands of years—thanks, in large part, to the cedar tree, the country’s national symbol. Historical records and religious texts often reference the high quality of Lebanese cedar wood, and its renown across the region as an important building resource and a material for luxury furniture. More recently, furniture making

Better to have than to have not

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

The noose around Lebanon

Reading Time: 5 minutes Over 300 days have passed since Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s prime minister, stood on the White House lawn next to Donald Trump as the US President promised an answer to the “menace” of Hezbollah within 24 hours. That answer did not materialize in the form of a comprehensive foreign policy or as diplomatic niceties, at least

Mapping the money

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Valued opinions

Reading Time: 7 minutes After over a decade of dormancy, Lebanon’s Economic and Social Council (ESC) was reactivated last November. The ESC is an advisory body to the government, and its opinons are non-binding. Executive met with the economist Mazen Soueid, one of 71 individuals named to serve on committees of the ESC, to understand how the institution can

A window of opportunity

Reading Time: 6 minutes Executive met with Christina Lassen, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, to discuss the challenges Lebanon is facing, what to expect from the upcoming CEDRE investment conference and Brussels II refugee aid conference, and the outcomes of last month’s Rome security conference. E   It is an interesting time for Lebanon,

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