Lebanon has been traditionally open for foreign direct investments (FDI). According to the 2019 World Investment Report, FDI inflows increased from $2.5 billion to $2.9 billion in 2019 in Lebanon, and the country is expected to attract more FDI in the next years, thanks to the rehabilitation of the infrastructure.
The main investors in Lebanon are France, UAE, USA, Germany, UK, the Netherlands, Jordan, and Egypt, with main focus on trade, real estate, services, tourism, and agriculture.
Lebanon is one of the most flexible and lucrative places for local and international business people to develop a thriving enterprise. Investing in this unique, welcoming marketplace has its benefits, which are:
#1 Lebanon is Strategically Located
Thanks to its strategic location on the crossroads of three continents -Europe, Asia, and Africa-, Lebanon has been a gateway to other countries in the Middle East and many emerging economies. The country's geographical location has made Lebanon a transshipment point between a variety of Middle-Eastern countries and overseas, linking its population to a market of more than 500 million people.
#2 Lebanese Workforce is Multi-skilled and Hardworking
Lebanon is home to more than 2 million well-educated and skilled labor force. Investors can have access to a large number of willing, qualified, and skilled workers in nearly any industry and at moderate fees. According to the World Bank, 70% of the population generates an annual income of less than USD 10,000.-
#3 Lebanon Enjoys a Free Market Economy
Lebanon offers the most liberal investment climate in the MENA region and is ranked as one of the freest economies regionally and internationally. Through the absence of legal restrictions on the entry or exit of firms, and with the government maintaining a non‐interventionist stance toward private investments, free-market competition is encouraged.
#4 Lebanon Has a Liberal Financial Environment
Lebanon is known for its liberal financial environment with a free exchange regime. The country has an ideal banking structure for conducting business in the MENA region: free foreign exchange market, full currency convertibility policies, and absence of restrictions on the inward or outward movement of capital.
#5 Lebanon Offers Many New Investment Opportunities
The wide variety of investment opportunities in Lebanon spreads across different sectors, including tourism, agriculture, information technology, and energy. Thanks to the recent discovery of offshore natural gas deposits, our country is expected to reduce its energy dependence and offer numerous opportunities for related sectors.
#6 Lebanon benefits from a moderate tax rates' system compared to most countries
Lebanon has one of the lowest taxation schemes and fiscal charges in the world. With maximum tax rates of 15% for companies and 20% for individuals, Lebanon's business environment has become one of the most attractive and competitive for foreign and national companies.
#7 Lebanon has been expanding its infrastructure
With expanding port facilities and an ambitious road rehabilitation program, Lebanon's infrastructure is expected to be one of the best in the region. In spite of the severe damages of the civil war, many projects have helped in re-building and enhancing the infrastructure.
Additionally, our current poor mobile communication systems represent new investment opportunities in this domain.
#8 Lebanon offers a unique living environment
In Lebanon, investors enjoy the most hospitable MENA destination with vibrant nightlife, moderate Mediterranean climate, and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Lebanon also boasts health care services, internationally known for the quality of medical centers and staff.
In addition to that, Lebanon is full of touristic attractions and activities across breathtaking natural landscapes.
#9 Lebanon is an active ground of professional facilities and expert services for investors
The government of Lebanon offers a series of facilities and incentives to both national and foreign investors as part of its strategy to attract investments into growth-promising sectors.
For example, incentives for offshore companies include: chairman-general manager and foreign employes are exempted from work permits, as well as the transfer of shares is not subjected to stamp duties and is exempted from taxation.
#10 Lebanese citizens are risk-takers
Known for their eagerness and love for new ideas and ventures, Lebanese people LOVE grabbing new opportunities and taking risks. They also don't hesitate in saying YES to any new investment that might help in the development of their beloved country. Besides, the Lebanese are always open to new entrepreneurship.
In that regard, you might want to also read about the Conference in Abu Dhabi Aiming at Ushering Direct Investments in Lebanon.