Corruption and a lack of transparency have continued to cause frustration among local and foreign businesses. According to the 2021Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Lebanon ranked 154 of 180 countries worldwide, making Lebanon among the 50 most corrupt countries in the world. Foreign and local companies have complained about numerous impediments, namely institutionalized corruption, bureaucratic over-regulation, arbitrary licensing, complex customs procedures, outdated legislation, an ineffectual judicial system, poor telecommunication services, slow internet speeds, poor electricity provision, inconsistent interpretation of laws, and inadequate protection of intellectual property. Lebanon also has fragmented and opaque tendering and procurement processes, which has deterred foreign investment.
Lebanon adheres to the Arab League Boycott of Israel. The Arab League’s Central Boycott Office maintains a blacklist of firms that are believed to contribute to Israel’s military or economic development. As of July 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut is not aware of any U.S. firms on this list. As per U.S anti-boycott regulations, U.S. companies must refrain from certifying that their products do not come from Israel. If there appears to be any request that might be in support of boycotts, companies should contact the Bureau of Industrial Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Finally, international companies should be mindful about sanctioned individuals and entities when conducting business in Lebanon.