Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities
Lebanon’s outlook is bleak; projections include a large GDP contraction: further unemployment and poverty; greater currency devaluation and inflation: and a continuation of bank-imposed capital controls. The state’s revenues are close to zero, and it has fallen behind on payments to private companies. As of August 2020, few U.S. and international firms were interested in investing in Lebanon, and Lebanese government officials admitted the state was bankrupt.
In the long-term, however, there may be opportunities for international companies in the energy, water and wastewater, safety and security, fast-food franchising, healthcare and medical technologies, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors. Within the energy sector, there may be opportunities for power generation and renewable energy projects. Although Lebanon is looking to issue additional licenses for offshore hydrocarbon exploration, its second licensing round has been postponed indefinitely given global economic conditions.
The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) is the Lebanese government’s executive body responsible for soliciting contracts for major infrastructure projects and supervising their award and execution. CDR projects target the transportation, electricity, telecommunications, education, water, and sanitation sectors. A list of CDR projects can be found here. Large infrastructure projects may be possible if Lebanon aceeds to an IMF program, restructures its debt, and returns to international capital markets.