March 30, 2017

IDAL Newsletter – March 2017

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Starting 2017, and with the formation of a new government Lebanon again has the golden opportunity to re-direct foreign investments to Lebanon.
                                                      March 2017
Dear Readers

We are looking forward to a prosperous period ahead following the election of a president and the formation of a new government. Now is the time to invest in Lebanon’s thriving business landscape with new opportunities on the lookout especially in the ICT and Agrofood sectors.
There will be many opportunities in the coming period to get exposed to the various advantages of investing in the country as well as the promising economic sectors. We look forward to welcoming our diaspora in May as part of the Lebanon Diaspora Energy conference as well as Arab investors during the Arab Economic Forum.
In light of the success we had following the round table discussion between Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri and a delegation of local investors, we are keen on organizing a similar initiative that will bring together foreign companies with the Prime Minister in order to ensure a holistic approach to improving Lebanon’s “doing business” environment.
We hope that as investors you get to see the value of those initiatives in learning more about Lebanon and contributing to its national economy; whether through investments, expansion projects, or policy advocacy. Rest assured that IDAL is present to welcome you and support you in whatever endeavor you choose.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue, please contact us for your feedback.

Best wishes,

Nabil Itani
Chairman- General Manager


At IDAL we are committed to improve Lebanon’s business environment by facilitating all administrative procedures for investors, listening to them and anticipating their needs. It is with this faith that we organized a delegation of 15 businesses from various sectors, who benefited from IDAL’s bundle of incentives within the last couple of years, to meet with H.E. Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri and to discuss with him improvements to the business environment, which he took wholeheartedly and with certainty.

The meeting was in the presence of the Chairman of IDAL Mr. Nabil Itani and the Prime Minister’s Development Advisor Mr. Fadi Fawaz; it took the form of an open discussion whereby investors presented solutions to improving the doing business environment in order to increase the competitiveness of Lebanese companies in international markets. Next steps include putting together a task force from the Prime Minister’s Office and IDAL to coordinate with respective ministries to implement the recommended measures. 

Companies present

Tourism: Summerland Kempinski Hotel and Resort
Agro Industry: Wilco PM, Castania, Al Rifai, Master Chips Daher Foods, Hawa Chicken
Industry: Kfoury Metals, Glasspack, Matelec, Advanced Plastic Industry, A.R. Jubeily & Co.
Pharmaceuticals: Algorithm, Arwan Pharmaceutical Industries, Benta Pharma Industries, UTRIX

Improvements include those pertaining to:

  • The protection of Lebanese manufacturing and products
  • The provision of the right infrastructure such as energy
  • Exports facilitation through implementing bi-lateral agreements and forging new ones
  • Support in trade exhibitions
Lebanon’s pharmaceutical market was estimated to be worth around USD 1.63 billion in 2015. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% through to 2020, reaching a value of USD 2.20 billion. Pharmaceutical sales accounted for 3.15% of national GDP in 2015, the largest portion in the MENA region.
The pharmaceutical market currently comprises 164 importers, and around 11 manufacturing facilities.
Manufacturers mostly produce their own off-patent branded generics, but equally produce patented drugs under license for multinational companies; some have also manufactured their own innovative products.
The Cost of Doing Business in Lebanon
When it comes to the cost of doing business in Lebanon, the country enjoys one of the best price/ quality ratios in the region, putting it on top of the list of the MENA countries to invest in. From competitive salary scales to affordable housing and utilities, Lebanon is your viable investment destination.

IDAL’s Business Support Services will provide start-ups and established businesses with advisory services for setting-up and operating their business including providing advice on the following:

Pre-Incorporation Services

  • Advice on the most appropriate form of legal structure
  • Advice on various financing options and schemes available to them locally
  • Provide economic, commercial, legal, industrial and other information relevant for investment decisions
  • Identify investment opportunities within their sector
  • Mediate contacts between them and investors to identify potential joint-venture opportunities.

Incorporation Services

  • Advice on capital needed for each structure
  • Advice on documents needed to register a company (AoAs etc…)
  • Advice on elements of corporate governance including the setting of Boards of Directors AGMs, EGMs etc…
  • Advice on the various types of fiscal exemptions and fees reduction to investment projects as stipulated in Investment Law No. 360.
  • Advice on trademark and patents, employment laws and contracts, and shareholders agreements.

Operation Services

  • Advice on the permits needed to start and operate their business
  • Advice on the various types of administrative procedures
  • Advice on understanding venture capital deals key heads of terms
In the news

Honoring the press 

IDAL honoured the Lebanese media during a dinner organized at the Summerland-Kempinski Resort, under the patronage and the presence of the Minister of Information Mr. Melhem Riachi and a number of CEOs, managers, editors and representatives of TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines and news agencies.



Enhancing economic ties with Egypt

IDAL participated at the Lebanese Egyptian Business Forum organized by the Al Iktissad wal Aamal Group under the auspices of the Prime Minister. Chairman Nabil Itani delivered a speech in the opening session urging the enhancement of trade and investment exchange between Egypt and Lebanon. He stressed the need to support investors and maintain them, and to promote investments between the two countries.

Egyptian Partnerships

The Chairman of IDAL Eng. Nabil Itani met with the Egyptian Minister of Investment Mrs. Sahar Nasr. Discussions tackled ways to strengthen economic ties, specifically investment, between Egypt and Lebanon. Eng. Itani urged also the enhancement of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between IDAL and GAFI.

Meeting with Algerian Ambassador to Lebanon

The Chairman of IDAL Eng. Nabil Itani discussed with the Algerian Ambassador to Lebanon Ahmed Bouziane ways of stimulating economic relations, particularly investment between Lebanon and Algeria.
Eng. Itani was handed an invitation to participate in Algiers International Fair which will be held between May 8 and 13, 2017 in Algiers.

Meeting with Tunisian Ambassador to Lebanon

Chairman of IDAL Eng. Nabil Itani met Tunisian Ambassador to Lebanon Karim Boudali. The discussions tackled ways of cooperation to enhance the Lebanese and the Tunisian investments and encourage businessmen. Discussions tackled also joint steps to be performed by IDAL and the Tunisian investment authority to promote and facilitate investments, such as drafting a memorandum of understanding to support investments in both countries.

Lebanon Economic Forum

IDAL participated at the Lebanese Economic Forum, held under the auspices of the Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri. IDAL`s intervention during the first session focused on the economic and investment indicators in Lebanon, as well as on sectors showing readiness for investment like health tourism, media, information and communication technology, food industry, technology, agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry.

Reaching out to startups at Arabnet

IDAL was present at this year’s Arabnet conference to announce the services of its business support unit for startups. IDAL had a booth at the conference with free live legal and auditing advice to all startups wishing to open and operate a business in Lebanon.
Our business support services include an array of options from advice on legal structures, financing options, and commercial information to advice on capital needed, fiscal exemptions and others.
IDAL | Investment Development Authority of Lebanon | +961 (0) 1 983306 | |