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Forging an economic path to new sovereignty

by Executive Editors

Crisis situations are nothing if not an opportunity for change. In this sense acting as a supreme motivating force for change, the economic crisis was expanded by a national security crisis and threat to sovereignty of Lebanon. In the 2023/24 issue of Executive, we explore the magazine’s consultative Economic Roadmap under a perspective of building security and ultimately a new expression of sovereignty that is both networked and interdependent, instead of being defined as indivisible and territorial. 

Economy is the aspect of a polity that is always in flux. By definition, economy is never at the same time static and growing. The investigations and inquiries of Executive Magazine over the three years since March 2021 have shown that some sectors of the economy meet the criteria of both serving greater societal need and opening larger economic development potential. 

Specializations of economic activity that have these two characteristics of great need and reward included renewable energy and production of food stuffs. Improvements of productivity and output in these sectors will therefore translate into the increase of security for the whole of society. In an additional advantage, meeting societal priority needs for food and energy is acknowledged globally under targets of food security and energy security (see stories contained in this pdf issue that summarize our 2023 findings on these sectors). 

The economic crisis of Lebanon has in this sense spurred on the identification of economic activities with high potential for job creation and market growth. Such potentials for boosting the economy were discovered through stakeholder consultations curated by Executive in manufacturing, hospitality, knowledge and creative industries, tech entrepreneurship, and niches in the real economy such as healthy cosmetics and organic products in food and beauty. 

Further priority efforts of private and public sectors are needed for creation and improvement of financial markets and social safety networks, which are curiously interdependent to one another in the respective assurances of social security and financial security (see special report in issue 270 and dollarization comment in this pdf). 

A new aspect of security needs is cybersecurity, which is the meeting defense needs of an increasingly digital society and in many ways is the equivalent of national security in the physical territory of a country. The importance of addressing those two security needs has been heightened immensely and the value of national security has been put in sharp relief by events in the last quarter of 2023.

It must be noted, however, that the economic sectors of above stated potential were not at all times the first focuses of private investment. Neither were they the recipients of incentives by legislators or public sector support. This has to change as much as private and public capacities can facilitate. 

A further factor of detriment was made evident through Executive’s research, namely that the sectors with the highest job creation potential in the real and the services economy, and the priority issue of security, are interconnected with national public sector and governmental capacities that have been long and deeply deficient are still not being developed. The implementation of the economic roadmap through private and civic efforts and achievements of its purpose and vision layers cannot be completed without building and reforming the state and its institutions.  

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Executive Editors

Executive Editors represents the voice of the magazine.
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