Economics & Policy articles

Fadi Abboud: Lebanese association of industrialists

Fadi Abboud: Lebanese association of industrialists

Reading Time: 9 minutes EXECUTIVE speaks to Fadi Abboud, head of the Lebanese Association of Industrialists, on the outlook for industry in the absence of government support, sizeable foreign investment and a fair playing field for regional trade. E Is the cardinal industry question, at this stage in Lebanon’s history, the cost of production or political stability? We can

Omar Razzaz : World Bank country manager

Reading Time: 8 minutes E It has been a turbulent year. How did the World Bank respond to the events of February and March and how have these events shaped its policy in Lebanon? The assassination of the former prime minister [Rafik Hariri] was a watershed in the history of Lebanon. It was the climax of 30 years of

Time is ripe for tough reform

Reading Time: 5 minutes The assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri on Valentine’s Day 2005, highlighted Lebanon’s economic vulnerability to sudden political and security events, as reflected in the significant slow down in economic activity; the massive decrease in GDP growth; and the rise of the proportion of public debt to government revenues. In the last quarter of

Getting the economy back on track

Reading Time: 6 minutes Mira Merhi Senior economist, ministry of economy and trade E Which sectors of the economy were most affected by the 2005 crisis? How is trade faring, given current relations with Syria? What are the government’s most immediate economic recovery plans? How does it plan to create growth? In 2005, the Lebanese economy witnessed a slowdown

Lebanon’s key industries splutter along

Reading Time: 7 minutes Before the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s industrialists were a fairly disgruntled lot. Okay, exports were 25% up on the previous year, but energy and communications costs remained astronomically high because of spiraling oil prices and government unresponsiveness or disinterestedness; state bureaucracy was suffocating; the economy was stagnant; and corruption was rampant.

Mohamed shabib – General manager, MTC Touch

Reading Time: 7 minutes Executive talks to Mohamed Shabib, general manager of MTC Touch, one of the two cellular phone management companies, on the state and development of Lebanon’s mobile telecom sector. E Following a year of challenges, do you see the Lebanese telecommunications industry as being in a better or worse position today than 12 months ago? We

Telecom reforms get jammed in the system

Reading Time: 6 minutes Another year has passed, yet it seems that time is at a standstill for the Lebanese telecom industry. To date, there has been no privatization, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is yet to appear, as is a third mobile operator, broadband internet access, and the reduction in call costs. It even seems that due to

Telecom sector hopes to pick up in 2006

Reading Time: 5 minutes Kamal Shehadi Managing director of Connexus Consulting E Now that the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) is being put on track with the search for a capable team, how long do you expect it to take until the agency can be fully operational and what should its first actions be? Secondly, is it possible to draw

Andy Kemp talks oil

Reading Time: 7 minutes     Levant Oil, incorporated in Lebanon, has been trading, importing and storing oil derivatives since it opened a storage terminal in Jiyeh in 2001. This year, the company is launching a chain of “LEO” gas stations across Lebanon. The Levant Oil Group comprises three companies: Levant Oil International, which started up in February 2005,

Open for trading: The DIFX takes off

Reading Time: 5 minutes Since the fateful events of 9/11 in New York, the phenomenon of investment repatriation by Gulf Arabs has accelerated significantly. Indeed, since 2002, Saudi investors are believed to have withdrawn more than $300 billion of investments from the US, while other Gulf countries are also said to have reeled-in roughly the same amount, if not