Lebanon Businessnews News

Foreign investment up
by more than six percent
Growth is driven by improvement in stability, investment climate, and projects by the
public and private sectors
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Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Lebanon reached $3.07 billion in 2014, up by 6.6 percent, annually, according to the World Investment Report of 2015, published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The report noted that FDI flows remained “stable”.

“The country has been enjoying stability compared to other regional countries suffering from turmoil,” said Mohamed El Moctar Mohamed El Hacene, UN-ESCWA Director of the Economic Development and Integration Division (EDID). “The climate of investment is improving with more easing in formalities for investors. The country has also the advantage of ownership freedom compared to its neighbors, especially in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC),” he said.

“The country enjoys more diversified investment opportunities in several sectors. Most FDI flows to the GCC, for instance, are focused on the oil and gas industry,” said El Hacene.

“Trade, services, and real estate are usually the sectors that most attract FDI,” said El Hacene. “More sectors can be targeted by investors in the medium to long term, including oil and gas, tourism, and the knowledge economy,” he said.

This flow in FDI represents 6.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the highest among Arab countries. In all West Asian countries, except Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, the average annual ratio of private investment to GDP decreased during 2009–2014 compared with 2003–2008, the report said.

FDI annual outflows decreased to $1.89 billion in 2014, down from $1.96 billion. These outflows reached $1.1 billion in 2012.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
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Date Posted: Jun 26, 2015