Comment articles

UAE emerging as a global innovator in AI

UAE emerging as a global innovator in AI

Reading Time: 5 minutes The past few decades have seen major advances in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, AI has become a transformative business force, specifically in the technology sector. Numerous organizations are significantly expanding their use of AI tools and services, with 2018 a landmark year for this trend. Supporting technologies, such as computational

The budget outlook for 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes It took more than seven months to complete the 2019 budget law, despite the pressing need to have completed it by the maximum constitutional deadline of end January 2019. Had Lebanon managed to produce the 2019 budget within the mandated time frame, it would have gone a long way toward restoring confidence in the ability

Regional turmoil threatens to engulf Lebanon

Reading Time: 4 minutes Three sets of regional conflicts and turmoil are impacting Lebanon. The country, yet again, finds itself in the most volatile of all regions, with a weak state and a corrupt set of politicians. You would not wish this storm on your worst enemies. The first is the ongoing turmoil emanating from the growing wealth gap,

Dissecting recent Lebanese economic developments

Reading Time: 8 minutes A lot of rumors have been circulating lately regarding the economic situation in Lebanon. Every citizen, whether an economic expert or not, is worried about the liquidity in the system and is trying to analyze the different scenarios and probabilities of occurrence of an economic and/or financial crisis. On the economic front, growth in the

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

The deterioration of human capital in Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes Economic and social prosperity in a country is measured by assessing the standard of living of its people. Those born in a country with high levels of poverty and corruption have a higher risk of living in a state of deprivation and suboptimal prosperity. Those born to wealthier nations with a more equitable distribution of

US sanctions Hezbollah lawmakers

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Internet copyright laws

Reading Time: 5 minutes As the growth of a few digital giants with base in the United States and state intrusion into the online world have reached dimensions that were unimaginable just a decade ago, some critics speak of ‘surveillance capitalism’ as the new form of dictatorship. In the middle of the uncertainty about our digital future, lawmakers are

Rethinking social entrepreneurship

Reading Time: 3 minutes January’s Mashreq Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment was a welcome initiative at a time where socio-economic conditions for women in Lebanon are dire. In addition to a discriminatory legal, political, and social environment, women continue to make up less than 25 percent of the labor force, according to 2018 World Bank estimates. Donor pledges to