By the day, as Lebanon’s economy continues to deteriorate, work and investment opportunities are dwindling. This is why, to many Lebanese, the chance to thrive is now only available outside Lebanon.
Whether by partnering with Cyprus-based businesses or by packing up and leaving to establish new headquarters, some Lebanese businesses and investors are already seeking opportunities in Cyprus.
“It is close. This is why Cyprus was always at the top of my mind,” Firas Mghames, the owner of one of Lebanon’s leading marketing and creative service providers, Feer McQueen, told Cyprus Mail newspaper.
“I decided to extend my operations to the island in May 2020, and we are still setting up,” Mghames said.
Attracted by the positive economic growth that Cyprus has been seeing, and simultaneously repulsed by the collapse of their own country’s economy, many Lebanese have taken steps to move their work to the neighboring country — or are, at least, considering it.
In April 2020, Abdel Karim, who hails from a family of developers, partnered with several investors to establish the company ITCEC that offers contracting, development, and engineering services.
6 months later, today, ITCEC is being prepared for migration.
“We are eight Lebanese investors and we have to make Cyprus our base,” Abdel Karim told the same source.
On the other side of the Mediterranean, Cyprus intends to ease the immigration of Lebanese investors through a plan that its Interior Ministry is reportedly working on.
However, despite Cyprus being close to Lebanon and boasting a fertile economy, Lebanese businesses moving to Cyprus are facing some challenges that are slowing the process down.
“One of the main hassles is the travel restriction and visa issues between the two countries after the [coronavirus] outbreak,” Firas Mghames noted.
Meanwhile, many businesspeople are struggling with getting their capital out of their local bank accounts without it losing its value or a great deal of it.
The economic meltdown has not only made staying in Lebanon difficult but also made it difficult to simply move out to live and do business elsewhere.
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