Economics & Policy articles

Lebanon releases the 2019 citizen budget

Lebanon releases the 2019 citizen budget

Reading Time: 3 minutes The 2019 budget law was subject to long debates that left citizens wondering about the ways the budget would affect their lives. It is a daunting task to make sense of the 1,000 plus black and white pages filled with complex tables, numbers, and graphs. To help non-specialists understand the information in the budget law,

Lebanon’s struggle to implement a coherent waste management strategy

Reading Time: 8 minutes Calls for a sustainable solid waste management plan in Lebanon have not abated over the four years since the last garbage crisis left Beirut’s streets littered with trash in 2015. Its presence is very much still felt—or at the very least, smelt. Such calls, in fact, date to when the first series of emergency measures

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

Lebanon ratifies 2019 budget

Reading Time: 8 minutes 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

Lebanon needs a disaster policy for earthquake risks

Reading Time: 3 minutes Over the past 2,000 years, Lebanon has experienced over 13 major earthquakes. These tremors are a result of the country’s location within an active tectonic system called the Dead Sea Rift, which divides the African and Arabian plates. One of Lebanon’s most devastating earthquakes occurred in 551 AD, a 7.5 magnitude quake along the Mount

Exports must be part of economic growth strategy

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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,