Economics & Policy articles

Updated laws on e-transactions, offshore companies, and code of commerce

Updated laws on e-transactions, offshore companies, and code of commerce

Pressure to update the seven-decades-old Lebanese code of commerce was threefold. First, pressure to reform followed the decision of Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, to issue Circular 331 in 2013 to encourage investment in the startup ecosystem, as startups by definition entail innovative technology and development language that is foreign to rigid and

US sanctions Hezbollah lawmakers

Last month, the United States designated two elected Lebanese legislators and members of Hezbollah as terrorists. This was an escalation of the US measures targeting the party, alleging that Hezbollah smuggles drugs and launders the proceeds to finance its militia and alleged terrorism activities. Little more than two years since Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Gas sector a catalyst for further cooperation between Lebanon and Egypt

The first six months of 2019 saw an unusual series of meetings between Lebanese and Egyptian officials, with energy cooperation at the core of these discussions. If memory serves well, the frequency is unprecedented. The option of resuming gas imports from Egypt was discussed extensively, especially during the first meetings of 2019. Lebanon previously imported

Lebanon ratifies 2019 budget

More than seven months into the fiscal year, Lebanon ratified its 2019 state budget. The law’s passage comes after months of delay and deliberation over expenditure-saving and revenue-boosting measures in what is being dubbed the austerity budget, though more accurately is a reformist one. The 2019 budget is the third in three years, after more

Exports must be part of economic growth strategy

Successive Lebanese governments have largely neglected the manufacturing sector. Policies were instead limited to a number of financing schemes, based on subsidized interest rates and several trade agreements with EU and Arab countries. Industrialists were left to contend with multiple challenges, including high production costs, inefficient provision of public services, and significant skills mismatch. Consequently,

Lebanon’s long-awaited 2019 budget

A sobering reality emerges in the shadow of the long-awaited 2019 budget, declared by Prime Minister Saad Hariri as the most austere in Lebanon’s history. As a stop-gap fiscal rescue package, it falls short of the transformational budget, based on a grand national vision for debt reduction and upgrading of critical infrastructure that is sorely

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