Lebanon - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors & Techniques

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2020-09-29

The Lebanese market is generally considered to be open and price sensitive.  Sales materials can be in English, French, or Arabic.  Many European and Asian brands have gained market shares, but Lebanese consumers value high-quality U.S. products for their quality, technology, and innovation. 

Lebanese companies usually request exclusive representational rights when signing agency agreements with foreign companies.  U.S. companies should partner with an exclusive agent to represent their products in Lebanon.  Moreover, U.S. companies should seek local legal counsel when doing business in Lebanon.  A list of local lawyers is available at the United States Embassy website.

Trade Promotion & Advertising

Lebanon is considered a regional hub for the advertising industry, with offices serving most of the Arab region.  Lebanon enjoys a sophisticated domestic audience and a thriving media sector.  There are eight television stations in Lebanon, over 40 printed and online newspapers, and more than 20 magazines, and more than 20 radio stations.

Television remains the favored medium of advertising and captures half of the advertising market.   Other media used for advertising include print, billboards, social media, and radio.

There are more than 12 Arabic-language dailies in Lebanon, as well as the English-language Daily Star (The Daily Star) and the French-language L’Orient Le Jour (L’Orient Le Jour).  The Daily Star is no longer available in print form; most newspapers are available primarily online.

The major trade fairs organizers in Lebanon are listed below:

- Biel Center

- Seaside Developments

- Confex International

- ESquare

- Hospitality Services

- Iktissad Events

- International Fairs and Promotion

- Promofair

Major business magazines include:

- Lebanon Opportunities

- Executive Magazine

- Arab Ad

- Le Commerce du Levant

Pricing

Imported goods are subject to customs duties and a value-added tax (VAT) of 11 percent.  The Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy and Trade sets the price of local Lebanese flat bread.  Other types of bread are not affected by this price control.  The Ministry of Energy and Water sets the prices of petroleum derivatives, and the Ministry of Public Health sets the prices of pharmaceuticals.  The Technical Center for Price Control at the Ministry of Economy and Trade surveys supermarket prices of consumer goods every two months.

Sales Service/Customer Support

A number of leading Lebanese companies have sales service and customer support units.  Lebanon has a Consumer Protection Law, and the Consumer Protection Directorate at the Ministry of Economy and Trade has a call-center hotline (1739) to receive consumer claims.

Local Professional Services

Khalil Masri & Fils Sarl: Risk advisory, information provider, studies and valuation, recovery

Kompass: Leading worldwide business directory

5 Index: Database information services

Principle Business Associations

American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Sidon and South Lebanon

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and North Lebanon

Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Zahle and Bekaa

Association of Lebanese Industrialists

Lebanese Franchise Association 

The primary role of those associations is to represent the interests of the private sector, contribute to the formulation of economic policies and the elaboration of legislation that impacts business activity, develop partnership and dialogue between the private sector and the government, and provide a broad array of services to enterprises.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

There are no limitations on selling U.S. products and services to Lebanon.