The 2014 annual report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Lebanon dropped by 23 percent last year.
In 2013, the country received $2.87 billion compared to $3.67 billion in 2012, according to “The Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals” report.
“If we invest, for instance, in liquefied natural gas (LNG) for electricity production in the North and South or in renovating our refineries in those regions, we will attract more FDIs,” said Marwan Iskandar, an economist.
Most inflows focused on the real estate market. “Real estate is an attractive proposition because of its historical stability and very little is paid out on profits, but this can change with the discussions on funding the public sector salary scale,” said Iskandar.
The properties market registered a significant decrease in investments from the Gulf countries, the report said.
Capital outflows (from Lebanon) reached $600 million in 2013, a slight increase on the $572 million in 2012. “Lebanese are investing in residences in Cyprus and Spain benefitting from special facilities there, and banks are expanding their presence in places like Iraq for example,” said Iskandar.