We are back after our summer break, and what better topic to start off the new season with than an overview of the potential of the Lebanese diaspora. This energetic force that has played a key role in the country's economic prosperity is now more than ever being put in the spotlight for the country's development and advancement. A lot of initiatives have been put into place this year to encourage the diaspora to get connected to their homeland on social, political, and economic levels.

It is noticeable that Lebanese emigrants are mostly interested in transnational businesses, that is having one foot in their homeland and another in their host country. Lebanon has a lot to offer in that regard with many emerging sectors such as Business Process Outsourcing and Technology providing the foundation to cater to such needs.


Our September issue will focus on those topics and will also bring into focus some of our key activities within the last two months. 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



Lebanese diaspora refers to Lebanese migrants and their descendants who emigrated from Lebanon and now reside in other countries. Although there are no accurate figures, the diaspora is estimated to be around 14 million people, far more than the internal population of Lebanon of 4.3 million. Throughout history, the Americas have long been a destination for Lebanese migration. The largest concentration of Lebanese outside the Middle East is in Brazil, which has reportedly almost 7 million Brazilians of Lebanese ancestry, making Brazil's population of Lebanese nearly twice that of the entire population of Lebanon. The main destinations of Lebanese who emigrated between 2004 and 2009 were the GCC countries and Europe. 

And yet, even with all the time and distance, most of these migrants have managed to maintain a strong Lebanese ethnic identity.


Below are some facts that will help put this topic into perspective:


Main Destinations of Lebanese Emigrants 2004-2012



Level of Education of Lebanese Emigrants



Remittances Inflow by Region of Origin (2012)



 Source: Interactive Map on Migration-ICMPD


The World Bank projected expatriates' remittances inflows to Lebanon at $7.6bn in 2013, constituting an increase of 4.4% from $7.3bn in 2012. 



Call Center Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry

For emigrants wishing to be transnational, that is having one foot in their homeland and another in the host country, the best way to invest in Lebanon is through outsourcing part of their business to Lebanese companies specialised in services outsourcing.The BPO industry in Lebanon comprises around 200 companies divided along three major sub-sectors of activity: Call centers, Back office operations (mainly in Finance, Accounting and HR), and ITO (information technology outsourcing). Companies involved in ITO form the vast majority of enterprises in the sector and employ around 4143 employees.  In total, the sector employs an estimated 5050 employees. More than 90% of these employees are in high value-added activities. For more info.

Tech Sectors


A lot of Lebanese have already established themselves in Silicon Valley and are looking at ways to support the sector back home through ensuring proper knowledge transfer and investing as angel investors in start-ups. 

If you are interested to invest in ICT companies we have introduced a new Business Linkage Program (BLP) which aims at fostering the growth of Lebanese ICT companies through supporting them in identifying new markets and establishing links with foreign companies looking for partners to outsource the development of all or part of their services. 

You can start by accessing the Directory of ICT Companies in Lebanon, which contains information about available suppliers and their key products. We have also made available a List of Startups which have achieved global reach and have the potential to become major players in the information technology scene.

Traditional Sectors


You can also invest in Lebanon's traditional sectors, such as Tourism (especially healthcare tourism), Agriculture, Media, and AgroFood.

For information on every sector you can check our detailed factbooks.


If you wish to invest in Lebanon, please let us know in order to ensure you go through a seamless process. For more information on what we can do for you, please visit our website.




A lot of initiatives and programs were put in place to encourage the diaspora to stay connected with their homeland. Earlier this year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants launched the first conference to harness Diaspora Energy; bringing together successful Lebanese from all over the world to share their success stories and network with local businesses to foster partnerships and business deals.


On the same front, the Ministry has recently launched a platform called Lebanon Connect aiming to connect Lebanese around the Globe. Lebanon Connect requires Facebook to login and will allow you to search for and chat with nearby Lebanese nationals in any country in the world. Also featuring a list of Lebanese embassies including addresses and contact details. eServices are also made available and linked to Dawlati.

A more recent call for action involves the launch of the "Economic Diplomacy" initiative which encourages every Lebanese ambassador to have a role in encouraging trade and business relations between host and home country and to mobilize the diaspora to be part of this endeavour .


On the strategic front, IDAL is liaising with organisations such as the IOM, the EUROMED Migration, and MedGeneration to work on a national strategy to attract Diaspora Direct Investment (DDI). We have participated so far in over 5 workshops and seminars aimed at looking into ways to increase participation of the diaspora in the national economy, beyond remittances. Our most successful collaboration was working with the ICMPD on the Interactive Map on Migration (i-Map) which aims at mapping a country's diaspora, necessary for successful collaborations and partnerships.





IDAL, represented by Chairman Nabil Itani, took part in the conference on "SMEs: The Road to Economic and Social Equality Development" at the Movenpick Hotel, Beirut. Mr. Itani emphasized on the role of IDAL in providing support for Small and Medium Sized enterprises especially in the ICT and AgroFood sectors through incentive schemes and other support services including access to global bids and tenders. Mr.Itani was also honoured with an award by the Union of Arab Banks.  





We have met with the new Indian Ambassador to Lebanon H.E. Ms. Anita Nayar. The meeting was held with Chairman of IDAL Mr.Nabil Itani and board member Mr. Mourched El Hage Chahine. Ms. Nayar presented to IDAL the opportunity to participate at the SURAJKUND CRAFTS MELA exhibition in India from 1-15 February 2015, of which Lebanon is a strategic partner as per the endorsement of the Ministry of Economy and Trade.





Lebanon is home to one of the most significant Media industries in the Middle East. The local media sector is highly developed and consists of varied industries including television broadcasting facilities, advertising services, TV and audio-visual production, as well as new emerging sectors like Digital media, and traditional media industries like publishing and music production. It is in this capacity that we were present at the Murex D'Or this year at the Casino du Liban. We were able to put Lebanon in Focus by capturing success stories of business people, directors, producers, and politicians.




IDAL, represented by its Chairman-General Manager Mr. Nabil Itani, took part in the 3rd "EUROMED migration" conference hosted by the French Ministry of Foreign affairs in Lyon, France. The meeting was meant to discuss experiences on ways to engage high profile migrants for a greater impact on development and interaction with their countries of origin. The meeting aimed as well to seek ways to strengthen the relations between governments and highly successful members of the diaspora to build sustainable partnership for development.




We sponsored the 1st economic forum in Iklim El Kharoub on 19 September. The first forum of its kind in a rural area in Lebanon. We delivered a special session on the development of investment opportunities in the area and the incentives granted under Investment Law No.360/2001.






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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