Economics & Policy articles

What goes down…

What goes down…

Reading Time: 5 minutes Over the past few months, there seems to have been excessive but not unusual focus by market commentators and, to some extent, mainstream Wall Street strategists, about the dollar’s direction. In Lebanon, a highly dollarized economy, the issue has also been on the forefront as many Lebanese gauge their wealth in dollar terms. Those who

Q&A:Ineke Botter

Reading Time: 7 minutes Running a mobile telecommunications network in Lebanon has in recent years presented itself as profound challenge, not only in terms of achieving operational excellence but also as quest demanding ultimate skills in diplomacy. With new management contracts for the mobile sector in place since mid 2003, EXECUTIVE ventured into the challenging exercise of asking what

Telecom Voices – Don’t call us…?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Ghazi Yussuf: Head of the Higher Privatization Council up until the resignation of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri E: Is there a realistic chance for the privatization of cellular assets in 2005? What, in your opinion, are the best and worst case scenarios for the development of the cellular sector in the coming year? There is

Communications – The ongoing drama

Reading Time: 5 minutes Smiles returned to the Lebanese communications sector in 2004. The question is whether they were forced. Two existential dramas in the communications arena last year were carried over from 2003 and the years before: the quest to make the mobile and landline sectors more productive and create a stable environment for modern data communications. A

Q&A: Jacques Sarraf

Reading Time: 7 minutes E: The Malia Group reached a milestone with 50 years of industrial production of cosmetics. Where were the challenges you encountered in building an enterprise in the Lebanese environment? Within 50 years, we have undergone three different ages as a group: from 1950 until 1975, from 1975 until 1990, from 1990 until 2004. Each phase

Industry Voices – Light at end of tunnel?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ramzi Ghosn: Proprietor, Massaya Winery E: Our industry has been forced to seek out new and sustainable export markets and been moderately successful. How can other sectors within the manufacturing or agro-industry replicate this success? To be successful you need a comparative advantage. In the local wine industry, our comparative advantage is the fact that

Economy Voices – Reform Horoscope

Reading Time: 6 minutes Joey Ghaleb: Economist at the ministry of economy and trade E: How could the Lebanese Government give new impulses to the economy through public spending in 2005? Although “Paris II” may be long forgotten, the Lebanese must keep reminding themselves that soothing political sound bites do not pay the bill. Major structural reforms do and

Q&A: Georges Corm

Reading Time: 7 minutes Despite regional instability, a soaring public debt and the threat of international sanctions under UN Resolution 1559, the Lebanese economy experienced its strongest growth in seven years, largely due to a record number of tourists, increased exports and vigorous real estate activity. Yet, according to Georges Corm, the key to sustainable economic growth and greater

It ain’t broke but it needs fixing

Reading Time: 7 minutes The year 2004 revealed a great dichotomy between the “feel” of the economy – i.e., the anecdotal chatter and the empirical improvements. The primary reason for the downbeat mood was, and continues to be, the lack of political vision, and the continuing wrangling between the poles of political power. While very little true reform was

Does it really matter who wins?

Reading Time: 4 minutes By the time of this publication, and barring any confusion á la Florida, or a major 9/11-type ‘event,’ the new president of the US will be known. But while in the US the presumed majority will be celebrating and the others put up a good face to it, we in the rest of the world

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