The UAE investments in Lebanon are not something new. The UAE has been heavily investing in Lebanon’s real estate and commercial sectors for decades, with the most recent data recording its investments at 11% of the total FDI inflows to Lebanon. This conference comes to convene both UAE and Lebanese investors in the presence of officials from both countries, to discuss investments in Lebanon.
A Lebanese delegation of six ministers, as well as directors-general and government officials, led by PM Saad Hariri, will partake coming Monday in the second UAE-Lebanon Investment Conference in Abu Dhabi, which is held under the auspices of the UAE Ministry of Economy and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Lebanese Ambassador to the UAE Fouad Chehab Dandan and UAE Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry Abdulla Al Saleh met to finalize the preparations of the conference, and that in coordination with UAE Ambassador to Lebanon Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, officials from Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, and a number of Lebanese economic experts.
Starting Monday, Oct 7th, Emirati and Lebanese investors will convene in several sessions and workshops in the presence of Lebanese officials and a high-level Emirati which name hasn’t been disclosed yet.
It is worth noting that the UAE has been persistent in maintaining its position as a leading investor in Lebanon with its foreign direct investment (FDI), hence the upcoming joint investment forum.
According to the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to Lebanon jumped by 14% to $2.88 billion in 2018, compared to $2.52 billion in 2017. It is estimated that 29% of FDI inflows to Lebanon came from the Middle-East.
UAE Ambassador to Lebanon Al Shamsi commented to the Gulf News, “The UAE is also looking to expand investments to other areas, such as energy and free zones because the UAE believes that Emirati investments in Lebanon will increase the confidence of investors from other countries to enter the Lebanese market, which will help Lebanon overcome its current economic conditions.”
Al Shamsi also revealed that the bilateral trade between the two countries during the first seven months of 2019 stood at $598 million. Exports from Lebanon were estimated at $255 million and exports from the UAE were about $343 million.
Al Shamsi expressed his confidence in that the coming UAE-Lebanon Investment Forum “would usher in a new era of investment in Lebanon, with the participation of both the private and public sectors and supported by the Lebanese government.”
He ascertained that the bilateral relations between Lebanon and UAE are at their best, hence the conference, which reflects ‘the interest of the UAE leadership in Lebanon.’