Lebanon Businessnews News

US lauds investment climate
Country Commercial Guide says government intervention in foreign trade is minimal
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Lebanon has a number of strengths that attracts investment and encourages foreign companies to open offices in it, according to the 2014 Country Commercial Guide for Lebanon issued by the United Stated Department of Commerce. 

Roger Melki, an economic consultant, said: “The report is not far from the reality, and the fundamentals of the economy are still good.” The economy is registering 1.5 percent growth, the banking sector is helping the economy to resist, and the Diaspora is supporting several sectors. 

Imports from the US totaled $1.5 billion last year, or seven percent of all import, according to the Customs. The US was ranked as number four trading partner behind China, Italy and France. 

Major US exports to Lebanon were fuel and oil ($607 million), vehicles ($241 million), machinery and electrical instruments ($170 million), products of chemical industries ($162 million), prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco ($64 million), and vegetable products ($47 million). Melki said: “Due to the Syrian influx the consumption increased, therefore importing major commodities such as wheat from the United States also increased.”

According to the report, the economy follows a liberal model. The economy is highly dollarized and the average exchange rate is stable, and the banking sector is highly developed. The country has few restrictions on the movement of capital across its borders. The government’s intervention in foreign trade is minimal.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Aug 18, 2014
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