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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities September 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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3 min
the ultimate struggle

The two largest local business casualties of the regional wars and the resulting decline in foreign visitors and investment are attracting serious capital. The real estate sector continues to witness commitment from dozens of developers (see page 80). Hundreds of new buildings have been announced since the beginning of the year, promising an increase by the thousands in the supply of apartments. The hospitality sector is so vibrant in new developments that we have dedicated our cover to it (pages 34-55). Many hotels have taken advantage of the lull to renovate and refurbish their premises, demonstrating clear faith in the future. The restaurant sector is engaged in developing clusters of venues catering to the middle class in traditional outing areas as well as in new destinations. Jbeil (Byblos) has just…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES We suffer from water scarcity while precipitation is four times our needs Arthur Nazarian, Minister of Energy and Water Ask Minister Gebran Bassil why electricity projects haven’t been implemented yet Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance We will not allow public hospitals to become boxing rings Wael Abou Faour, Minister of Public Health There is a need for a pro-industry lobby. I hope no one will exclude himself from it Hussein Hajj Hassan, Minister of Industry The UN is still lingering in reporting what our share of the aid is, which was decided during the Kuwait donor meeting Rachid Derbas, Minister of Social Affairs There is no point in protecting the labor force from foreign labor competition, as we find that no jobs are being offered Sejaan Kazzi, Minister of Labor After the latest Cabinet meeting, I got disgusted with politics Alain…

18 min
in good company

BUSINESSNEWS.COM.lb MEA: CARGO CENTER AND PRIVATE JET Middle East Airlines has inaugurated a new cargo center at its premises at the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (RHIA). The $25 million project replaces an existing worndown facility and has 2.5 times its storage capacity, reaching 165,000 tons of merchandise, according to Mohammad Hout, Chairman of MEA. “The cargo center will be ready to operate this July,” said Hout. The 20,000 square meter facility includes export and import warehouses of 5,000 and 10,000 m2, respectively. The developed underground parking space fits 200 vehicles. A refrigerated space for storing meats and medicine was expanded to exceed 4,000 m2. The center’s development was supervised by Middle East Airlines Ground Handling (MEAG), a fully-owned subsidiary of MEA that provides cargo services at RHIA. The project was executed…

7 min
official business

BUSINESSNEWS.COM.lb WORLD BANK TO DOUBLE SIZE OF LOCAL PORTFOLIO The World Bank is planning to increase the value of its portfolio in Lebanon, in the next four years to reach $2.3 billion, up from the current $1.1 billion. “The increase will consist of projects in infrastructure and aims to help the poorest regions in the country,” said Hafez Ghanem, Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa, who is currently on an assessment visit to the country. The World Bank has $550 million worth of projects that are awaiting approval by Parliament. This is half of its current portfolio, according to Ghanem. “I discussed the issue with the Prime Minister. We need to get Parliament’s approval so that we can commit to new ones,” he said. “We…

3 min
matters of fact

BUSINESSNEWS.COM.lb E-COMMERCE ON THE RISE Lebanon is one the best equipped countries for the development of e-commerce, according to a recently published United Nations report. The Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s Information Economy Report 2015 said that 40 percent of the country’s small enterprises, with ten to 49 employees, and 55 percent of medium sized enterprises, with 50-249 employees, receive orders over the Internet. According to Salam Yamout, Head of the ICT Committee at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, this boost is due to the activity of the private sector. “The public sector has begun implementing the e-strategy, but the growth is still latent and has not yet reached the required level,” she said. Efforts are ongoing to push this development further, according to Yamout. The report said that…

7 min
people on the move

NICOLAS ROUHANA, GENERAL MANAGER AT INSURE & MATCH CAPITAL After 13 years as Director of Business Incubation at the Berytech Technological Pole, Nicolas Rouhana became General Manager of Insure & Match Capital, a newly established support program funded by USAID and operated by Berytech. It aims to improve access to finance, competitiveness and revenue growth for startups and developing companies. “Within this program we will provide more support to entrepreneurs. It has a wider scope of activity and influence, and I consider it as a very positive move,” he said. Rouhana is also advisor to the Berytech Fund and Associate Professor at USJ. He holds an engineering diploma in telecommunications from USJ, and a PhD in Networking from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France. He also holds a Young Managers…