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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities April 2016

Lebanon Opportunities is a quarterly business magazine that covers: Finance, Real estate, Economy, and Local business. Lebanon Opportunities has tens of thousands of readers in Lebanon and across the globe. It is the prime local business magazine in Lebanon in terms of readership, advertising, and name-awareness. Lebanon Opportunities is written to a target of small business owners, entrepreneurs and middle management, as well as to Lebanese living abroad. It aims at bringing complex business issues in a simple manner understandable by readers who are not experts and whose English language is not the mother tongue.

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4 Numerot

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2 min
bad governance

by the editor-in-chief And olde folke vnderstood, whan theues fall out, true Old English proverb (J. Heywood Dialogue of Proverbs, 1546) When thieves fight, the truth comes out Modern English rephrasing of above attributed to Winston Churchill The absence of good governance is known to all. But last month scored a record on many fronts. Still, the country is sailing smoothly thanks to friendly winds, despite its errant captains who have abdicated to the pirates. The economy is stable (see page 30), its banks healthy (page 61), even attracting suitors (page 56). ELECTIONEERING Finger pointing at who is responsible for the failure to elect a President has continued for another month. Under a variety of pretexts, the side (now splintered) with the two electable candidates will not send its parliamentarians to pick one. They claim…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES Somebody is taking someone for a moron in the garbage issue Alain Hakim, Minister of Economy and Trade There are security loopholes at the airport Nouhad Machnouk, Minister of Interior There are no loopholes at the airport. But the security machines are too old! Fadi Abboud, former Minister of Tourism Samples of wheat have shown cancerous elements Wael Abou Faour, Minister of Public Health There are no cancerous elements in the wheat we tested Ministry of Economy and Trade There will only be good things from Saudi Arabia toward Lebanon. Full stop. Ali Awad Assiri, KSA Ambassador There is no longer a benefit in talking, reassurance, morale boosting, or promises. No painkillers nor tranquilizers Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Economic security is at the top of our priorities Abbas Ibrahim, Director of General Security We reached a…

18 min
in good company

BEIRUT DIGITAL DISTRICT TO BEGIN SECOND PHASE ZRE, the developer of the Beirut Digital District (BDD), plans to start phase B of the BDD project in May, for a total construction cost of $35 million, said Mouhamad Rabah, ZRE’s General Manager. Phase B, which is expected to be completed in 2019, will consist of 17,500 square meters of offices with integrated ICT technology. “We are in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation with the Spanish Embassy to learn how Barcelona has become one of the smartest cities in the world,” said Rabah. BDD, a 15-year venture launched in September 2012, currently consists of five buildings with a built-up area of 15,000 m2. It hosts 50 companies that employ 1,200 people active in the ICT, digital, and…

10 min
official business

4.5G MOBILE INTERNET WILL BE READY IN SEPTEMBER Alfa, the mobile network managed by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, has signed contracts with Ericsson and Nokia to deploy the 4.5G service countrywide. The project will boost the grid’s speed to 300 megabits per second. Alfa said in a statement. that it is part of the Ministry of Telecommunication’s (MoT) 2020 five-year plan to develop the telecom sector. Deployment work will be completed this September instead of the end of 2016, as previously announced. Marwan Hayek, CEO of Alfa said: “More than 30 companies will be involved in implementing this project, which means that 5,500 individuals will work on it directly.” He said that 1,300 stations will be installed all over the country and that annual consumption of data will increase to 80,000 terabits…

9 min
matters of fact

$370 MILLION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) signed five agreements with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for a number of projects in the fields of transportation, water, and wastewater. The funding agreements included one related to Bisri Dam valued at $128 million. The dam is part of a greater water augmentation project that consists of developing a 12 MWh hydropower plant, a water treatment facility for 25,000 cubic meters of water a day, water, and wastewater networks. The project, which will supply 12 million m3 of potable water to 1.3 million people, is cofunded by the World Bank. The second agreement, valued at $87.5 million, is for transforming the Ghadir facility from a preliminary wastewater treatment plant into a primary one. The project will triple the…

3 min
people on the move

GEORGES EL ASSAD JOINS INFOPRO AS CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER A veteran of MARCOM, Georges El Assad is spearheading InfoPro’s editorial department. He will lead its development from a multi-platform product publisher into a content generation entity. His career spans more than 25 years in communication and media, with leadership positions at Publi-Graphics and Saatchi & Saatchi, where he was a Regional CEO. He has recently published a book titled: ‘Play It Again’, a biography of Mustapha Assaad. “The publishing sector will be reinvented. I will integrate disciplines which have been independent of each other, in order to succeed in addressing constantly evolving market needs,” he said. KARIM SOUEISSI FUND MANAGER OF THEEMAR Karim Soueissi has nine years experience in finance. “We will move from study to implementation,” he said. He held senior positions…