New FDI figures published by the UNCTAD show a decline in investment flows to Lebanon by around 26.6% from 2012 levels. This figure is a reflection of the regional and local political disturbances that are affecting Lebanon and the Arab world in general. However, despite the decline, Lebanon still fared better than countries with non-oil economies in terms of FDI inflow. A full analysis of which will be covered in this issue and on our website.

We have also covered in this issue Lebanon's printing industry, an industry that is constantly growing and capitalizing on the country's historical position as the printing hub in the region. Many local printing presses have gained expertise and expanded to new markets covering traditional and even non-traditional printing fields such as in security and high-tech.


I hope you will find the information useful, for any feedback please do not hesitate to contact us. 


Best Wishes,


Nabil Itani

Chairman-General Manager


Due to the regional instability and the spillover of the Syrian crisis, foreign direct investment flows to Lebanon have declined slightly from previous years' averages, registering a figure of USD 2.83 Billion, down by 26.6% from 2012 levels, in the backdrop of a GDP growth rate of 1.5% according to the latest World Investment Report by the UNCTAD.  Despite this decline, foreign investments to Lebanon have never stopped, with various projects being initiated across various sectors, mainly ICT and AgroFood.


The decline in FDI figures has been linked by economic experts primarily to the considerable drop in the FDI flows channeled from Gulf countries into the Lebanese real estate sector. 


Fig 1: FDI Inflows to Lebanon (USD billion I 2008-2103)


 Source: UNCTAD



Lebanon fared better compared to other countries, being one of the largest non-oil economies recipient of FDI, as FDI to the region as a whole continued their slide, with the MENA region share of the world FDI dropping in 2013, compared to 2010. The political disturbances that swept the region over the last 2 years had by all means an impact on the capacity of the region to attract investments. 

 Fig 2: FDI Inflows in the MENA Region (USD billion I 2013)



For more information on the latest FDI figures, please check our webpage.



The Printing industry in Lebanon is a growing industry, contributing to around 4% of total industrial output and 4.3% of total value-added in the industrial sector. Industry players estimate the turnover of the sector to be somewhere around USD 150 million annually.



  • Today there are around 180 companies in the sector (or 4.5% of total industrial establishments), employing 3,693 workers or 5.2% of the total industrial labor force
  • The industry is mostly dominated by small and medium-sized companies, with 45.5% of firms employing 5 to 9 workers, and 86.3 percent employing less than 35 employees
  • Printing activities in Lebanon are mostly geared towards commercial (e.g., newspapers, books, leaflets, etc..) and industrial purposes (such as packaging) as well as recent developments in security and high-tech activities. The Lebanese printing industry is dominated by 10 large players that cater for the local and international markets.  2 of these players specialize in packaging
  • Lebanon is a net exporter of printed matters; with exports accounting for 4% of total exports in 2013
  • Export partners in this particular industry are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and Syria. Together, they account for more than 60% of total exports. New markets are being formed nonetheless in West Africa and Europe with key players already exporting to these destinations



  • Well-Established Industry: Owing to the industry's historical position as the printing hub in the region, local printing presses have organically grown expertise and regional presence over time and remain well positioned in the region with branch offices in the GCC, West and North Africa.
  • Relative Cost Competitiveness: labor cost for a qualified operator in Lebanon carries about a 40% advantage over an Eastern European location
  • Quality & Efficiency: Lebanon has a value-add advantage as far as quality of printing and binding, especially for hard cover books goes
  • Legal Framework: Lebanon compared to other Arab countries enjoys greater legal assurances for the freedom of expression, this makes printing in Lebanon a good proposition for publishers in surrounding countries


If you have an investment project in mind do not hesitate to contacts us to check if you can benefit from tax exemptions and other services.





In the framework of the Agri - Plus program, IDAL, with the cooperation of TUV HELLAS, Lebanon branch, organized a workshop on June 18 covering the topic of "Safety requirements" as well as the international quality certificates GLOBAL GAP, HACCP and ISO 22000 requirements. The workshop took place at the headquarters of the CCIAZ.  






As a strategic partner, IDAL sponsored the "Future of the Lebanese Economy" forum, organized by the Union of Arab Chambers at the Phoenicia hotel on June 9. Chairman of IDAL, Mr. Nabil Itani declared that the image of Lebanon is still positive and the number of completed and active projects supported by IDAL reached 54 projects with a total investment value of two billion dollars. 





Represented by its Chairman, Mr. Nabil Itani, IDAL participated in the final conference on the MTM i-MAP held in Brussels on the 4th and 5th of June under the title "Towards More Targeted Migration Policies". The meeting was also attended by representatives of expatriate institutions and migration directorates from all member states. Mr. Haytham Jomaa, Director General at the Directorate of Emigrants was also present during the conference.



Chairman of IDAL, Mr.Itani, took part in an interview with Ms.Ghada Ballout on the Arab Woman Channel. The interview revolved around the importance of the Tourism sector in Lebanon. To view the interview:


Arab Woman Channel- Special Episode on Tourism
Arab Woman Channel- Special Episode on Tourism



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 LebanonIDAL reports to the President of the Council of Ministers which exercises a tutorial authority over it.



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