September 6, 2012

IDAL Investor Newsline

 August 2012


Dear Readers,


Welcome to the summer edition of the investor’s newsline.

Lebanon continues to be at the forefront of business news, with new indicators showcasing a positive economic stance. Furthermore, the commitment of the EU, the Islamic Development Bank, and the French Development Agency to Lebanon through technical assistance and grants is a clear indication of the potential of Lebanon and its workforce and the belief that this country is and will continue to be the region’s vital business hub.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 8 finalists who are now part of the Seeqnce Accelerator Program, adding to the innovative pool of talents in Lebanon and the region.

I hope you enjoy this issue. For any feedback do not hesitate to contact us.

Best wishes,


Nabil Itani  

Chairman and General Manager

Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL)



Facilitating export of agricultural products through maritime routes


Due to the increasing difficulties of transporting goods through Syria (Lebanon’s only overland transit route), a joint committee headed by the ministries of Agriculture, Economy & Trade, Public Works and Transportation, as well as IDAL and shipping agencies, have met and decided to facilitate the export of agricultural products through maritime routes. The first shipment containing 200 refrigerated containers of potatoes already headed towards the Gulf Council Countries (GCC) on 7 August.

The committee identified the options available for the transfer of agricultural products via maritime routes through Mersin in Turkey, the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and the port of Aqaba in Jordan.

In that regard, IDAL will be holding on 11 September, a workshop on Maritime Shipments and the Export of Lebanese Fresh Produces, targeted at all exporters who are part of its Agri Plus program. The workshop aims at raising awareness on this alternative form of shipment and share best practices from an expert in the field of Maritime Transportation.

Lebanese-owned shipping company CMA CGM Group announces the establishment of Greenmodal Transport

Greenmodal Transport aims at providing door-to-door service by barge or rail with the “last kilometre” by truck. The objective is to promote modal transfers, with the main advantage being that as a multimodal operator Greenmodal Transport has total control over all means of transportation. This is the only model that offers customers the possibility of all three modes: road, rail, and inland waterway.




ESCWA foresees 2.5% Real GDP growth in 2012 for Lebanese Economy

According to a recent ESCWA report, Lebanon would record a real growth of 2.5% in 2012, showing a slight increase from the 2.0% figure it has recorded in 2011.

The slight rise is due to the increase in capital inflows and remittances from the GCC countries.

Lebanon 18th Globally in terms of Gold Holdings

According to the latest figures released by the World Gold Council, Lebanon holds the 18th position among the 100 countries with the highest worldwide gold reserves and the second among the 14 surveyed countries within the MENA region. Lebanon’s gold holdings accounted for 25% of the region’s total and 0.9% of the world’s total.

Lebanon came before Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey in the rankings.

In parallel, Lebanon’s gold holdings accounted for 30% of its foreign reserves which places it 1st out of the 14 MENA countries, and 17 out of the 100 entities, surpassing Egypt, Spain, and Belarus.

EU extends further grants and technical assistance for agricultural projects


The Ministry of Agriculture received 1.8 million Euros in technical assistance from the European Union to support the Agricultural and Rural Development Program.

The program aims to strengthen the ministry’s capacities to design, implement, and monitor agricultural policies; to improve the quality of agricultural products; enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural products; and increase the economic development of farmers and agricultural cooperatives through easier access to credit.

Financial firms as the biggest institutional taxpayer in Lebanon


Figures released by the Ministry of Finance shows that the distribution of corporate income tax shows that financial institutions accounted for 27.6% of the total and constitute by far the largest single taxpayer by source. They are followed by real estate activities with 13.1%, wholesale trade and commission trade with 3.8% and recreational, cultural & sporting activities and insurance & pension funding with 3.2% each. Manufacturing of other Non-metallic mineral products account for 3.1%, while other categories sum up the remaining 18.9%.


In every upcoming issue, we would like to highlight the regional and international success of an innovative Lebanese company in one of Lebanon’s sectors with growth potential. The globalization of these companies highlights the opportunity for Lebanon to become an outsourcing destination for high value-added services due to Lebanon’s qualified labor force and competitive labor costs which is categorized to be among the lowest in the region.

This month’s success story within the Digital Media sector will be dedicated toCinemoz

Cinemoz Logo


Cinemoz was founded in June 2011 with a USD 200,000 Kafalat Innovation loan,  by a team of seasoned entrepreneurs and experts from the film industry, the web and mobile community and the advertising world.
Cinemoz is the premium Video On Demand platform to and from the Arab World. Based on the Hulu model, it provides viewers from the region with free streaming of premium Arabic content.


You can watch, share, and discover all the best of Arab films, TV Series, documentaries and shot films while interacting with the community via the full integration of a set of innovative and empowering social media features.
In under 6 months, Cinemoz has gone from idea, to concept, and is today a state of the art
platform dedicated to the Arab World, while matching a globally competitive quality in user experience. By August 2012, they have crossed the 1,000,000 Unique Monthly Viewers milestone and have a projected ad sales of USD 500,000 in Q2 of 2013 alone.

Cinemoz is a Seeqnce Accelerated Startup.
Learn more about them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.



IDAL to Launch a state-of-the art website 

IDAL's Logo

We will be launching soon a state-of-the-art website that will hold all economic information and business support services needed by investors to take an informed decision regarding investing in Lebanon. The website, that is currently being designed and developed by Koein, will hold a step by step guide of doing business in Lebanon, an interactive investment map, and a comprehensive guide to Lebanon’s economic, legal, cultural, and political climate, among others.



Seeqnce gives 8 Young Businesses a Leg Up

Beirut-based Seeqnce Accelerator Program, an intensive program to help the region’s most talented, driven, and innovative entrepreneurs launch their tech startups, closed its Applications process with 436 applications from 30 countries, ranging from the United States to Japan, far exceeding its target of 300 applicants from the MENA region. The final 8 teams, were announced on August 25, each receiving over $100,000 in cash and acceleration services.


“A few of the new startups are dedicated to sales, such as Bayt Baytak, a map-based real estate website; Presella, a platform that helps people pre-sell events in order to guarantee a specific number of attendees; and elManshar, an online venue for Arab designers to expose their work through graphic T-shirt sales.

Other ventures aim to connect users who might not otherwise find a way to meet the people they need to meet, such as Kaktus, a community generated database of to-do lists; Med HP (Medical Help Portal), a computer and smartphone application that helps patients; Yoofers, a crowd funding platform that helps people buy items or services they need; Rikbit, a platform that helps people meet others with similar interests so that they can enjoy events and activities together; and et3arraf, a dating website for the Arab world.

These newly formed companies will now enter the Seeqnce accelerator program, in which they receive six months of training, mentoring and advising.” The Daily Star.

The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) is the national investment promotion agency of Lebanon. 
Established in 1994, IDAL aims at promoting 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.

You can benefit from two investment incentive schemes:

 Package Deal Contract (PDC) scheme

Based on:

  • project’s geographical location
  • investment size
  • sector type

This scheme, dividing Lebanon into three geographical zones (Zone A, B, and C), provides investors with fiscal related incentives and work permits

Investment Projects by Zone (IPZ) scheme

Based on:

  • project’s investment size
  • number of jobs created
  • sector type

This scheme provides investors with fiscal and labor related incentives as well as set-up fees reductions. The investor would also be bound by a contract with the Lebanese government represented by IDAL

Download our Investment Incentives Booklet for more information on offered incentives


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