IDAL in entrusted with the promotion of Lebanon as a viable investment destination, over the years the institution has also worked towards supporting programmes and initiatives that increases investments to the country, domestic or foreign, and thus promoting economic growth. One of the main manifestations of this support, is our collaboration with institutions that encourage start-ups in the media and ICT sectors. During the month of April, IDAL has sponsored and supported numerous initiatives in that regard and partnered with institutions such as Seeqnce, BIAT, the Beirut Creative Cluster, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Beirut Arab University; generating in this participation awareness of our role and the financial support needed for some of these programmes to accelerate and reach their objectives.
On a similar positive note, we have received four potential investment enquiries in the tourism, IT, and services sectors, an indication of the constant interest in Lebanon as a business destination.
I hope you will enjoy this issue, for any feedback please do not hesitate to contact us.
|INVESTMENT ENQUIRIES|APRIL 2013
|This month, the One-Stop-Shop Directorate received four inquiries for new potential investments, two of which are eligible for incentives granted by Investment Law No. 360.
We were approached by a local investor who is looking to establish a new boutique hotel in the Chouf district, 20 kilometers South of Beirut. On a similar note, a European company is planning to open a boutique hotel in the beautiful coastal town of Batroun in the North. It hopes to pay particular attention to its culinary side, promoting Lebanese traditional cuisine in all its forms.
Information Technology Sector:
Roxana, the pioneering Lebanese IT company, is planning to set up a new facility close to its existing one in the Cedars, North Lebanon, where it will focus on software development with an export potential. It plans to invest USD 600,000 and employ around 25 professionals.
We were approached by a foreign company who is looking to establish a regional base to serve as a shared service center. The center will conduct financial, accounting, and IT services for its offices across the region. Although this company will not benefit from IDAL’s incentives, our role was to provide them with market intelligence and business support services.
If you would like to know more on what IDAL can offer you, please check our website
|SUPPORTING STARTUPS IN THE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDIA SECTORS
As national investment promotion agency, IDAL has actively worked over the last few years not only at increasing awareness on investment opportunities across its promising economic sectors but also at putting in place the right policies and programs that would increase investments to the country and thus promote economic growth.
As part of its strategy to support the growth of the Media sector which has been identified in Investment Law No.360 as one of IDAL’s key priority sector in terms of its potential to attract investments, IDAL sponsored a 4-day workshop titled “Intelligent Creativity Professional Development Program” aimed at fostering the skills of film festivals and cinema managers, needed to boost the sector competitiveness . This workshop is an initiative of the Beirut Creative Cluster (BCC) and the British Council, which culminated in the official launch of the BCC on April 2.
In addition, as part of its mission to promote regional development, and in line with its strategy to promote investments in the North, IDAL sponsored in collaboration with the Central Bank an event organized by the Business Incubator Association in Tripoli (BIAT) titled “Success Stories from North Lebanon” at the Chamber of Commerce in Tripoli. The event showcased success stories and the support entrepreneurs can receive from the various government agencies. Support that IDAL can offer to start-ups include:
(1) Business Linkage Program, which helps Lebanese companies involved in the ICT sector identify new regional and international markets through establishing links with foreign companies looking for partners to outsource the development of all or part of their services; (2) Business Matchmaking Services that connects local and foreign investors with Lebanese entrepreneurs or SMEs seeking financing through IDAL’s extensive network of private investors, venture capital firms and angel investors, (3) Fiscal incentives including exemption on corporate income tax for a period that can run up to 10 years, along other services.
Along the same objectives, IDAL will sponsor the North Lebanon Start-Up Weekend on April 26 organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Beirut Arab University and Start Up Weekend. The aim of this event is to teach and promote entrepreneurship in local communities. It will bring developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. North Startup Weekend will begin with open-mic 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable concepts and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts
Finally, during this month, IDAL sponsored the Seeqnce Investors’ Circle launch of the Lebanese Startups Roadshow, a Seeqnce-organised multi-city tour that will see 7 globally competitive start-ups meet and pitch to top experts and investors in ICT in key cities including Beirut, Dubai, Istanbul, Paris, San Francisco, New York, DC, and London as part of its mission to highlight investment opportunities in Lebanon. The Lebanese Startups will be pitching to leading investors, high-net-worth individuals, key stakeholders, and press from Lebanon and the Arab World. IDAL along with Bank Audi are exclusively sponsoring this event which will hold over 100 high calibre individuals from various disciplines.
|LEBANON: POTENTIAL FOR BRIGHTER ECONOMIC PROSPECTS OVER THE MEDIUM TO LONG TERM
|The Institute of International Finance released a research note on Lebanon in March 2013, evoking Lebanon’s potential for brighter economic prospects over the medium and long term despite challenging short-term outlook.
According to the report, modest signs of recovery will surface in 2013, with a forecasted 3% real GDP growth, assuming some improvement in the domestic security situation and the adoption of neutral stance with respect to the crisis in Syria. Private consumption continues to be the major driver of growth. Inflationary pressures are expected to remain limited due to a combination of decreases in world commodity prices, the abundance of cheap foreign labor, and relatively weak domestic demand, as per the report.
IIF analysts believe that in the medium and long run, the recent discovery of significant recoverable offshore reserves coupled with a stable political environment and structural reform could affect the Lebanese economy positively, moving it to a sustainable, higher growth path beyond 2016 and helping it bring government debt down to more sustainable levels.
Additionally, the Governor of the Central Bank in Lebanon has recently announced a stimulus plan, which includes housing loans, loans to the productive sector, and loans for the energy sector, that will encourage people to invest more thus fueling economic growth.
Staybridge Suites Hotel Visit
A delegation from IDAL, headed by Chairman Nabil Itani, visited the construction site of Staybridge Suites and Hotels in Verdun, Beirut. The project USD 45.3 million project will create more than 170 jobs. The project benefited from our package deal contract which entitled it to be exempted from corporate income tax for up to 10 yrs and benefit from zero land registration fees among others. The project is due to start operations in 2014.
Business Entrepreneurship Forum
IDAL participated this year at the Business Entrepreneurship Forum in Biel, Beirut. The forum brought together young potential entrepreneurs interested to set up their businesses in Lebanon. IDAL was present to provide them with accurate information and support in this endeavor.
Lecture at the Beirut Arab University
Chairman Nabil Itani lectured business, architecture, and law students at the Beirut Arab University on Lebanon’s Investment Law, its basics and regulations. The session was followed by discussions and questions from the audience.
IDAL participated at the Lebanese Food Industry Day, an event that is being organised annually in parallel with the HORECA exhibition that held this year over 400 brands in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry.
The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) is the national investment promotion agency of Lebanon.
Established in 1994, IDAL aims to promote Lebanon as key investment destination and attracting, facilitating and retaining investments in Lebanon.
IDAL reports to the President of the Council of Ministers which exercises a tutorial authority over it.