In Lebanon we focus on:
Supporting private sector competitiveness by improving the environment for private sector development and increasing the scope of available financial instruments
Promoting sustainable energy supply, fostering energy sector reforms and enhancing energy efficiency
Enhancing the quality and efficiency of public service delivery and supporting private sector participation in public infrastructure
Business opportunities for the Bank in Lebanon will depend on political initiatives and reforms pursued by the country as well as on regional geopolitics.
Initially, the Bank’s focus will be on financial institutions and the corporate sector, particularly Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
The Bank will also engage in extensive policy dialogue with the authorities in cooperation with other international financial institutions to foster reforms in the infrastructure and energy sectors to encourage the private sector participation, pave the way to substantial future investments and to develop the business environment.
Lebanon became a shareholder of the EBRD on 14 July 2017 and a EBRD Country of Operations on 4 September 2017.
Lebanon's policy response to the coronavirus crisis
The EBRD is monitoring Lebanon's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.
Current EBRD forecast for Lebanon’s Real GDP Growth in 2020 -5.0%
Current EBRD forecast for Lebanon’s Real GDP Growth in 2021 5.0%
During 2020, Lebanon’s economy sank deeper into a fully-fledged stagflation as the political paralysis persisted in the absence of a new government. The country’s economic woes were deepened by subsequent episodes of social unrest, the considerable damage caused by the explosion at the Port of Beirut in August 2020, and the spread of Covid-19. As a result of falling tourism, dwindling capital inflows, lower demand for exports and the derailed implementation of structural reforms, the contraction of the economy in 2020 is estimated at 25 per cent.
The upward spiral of inflation continued unabated, averaging 85 per cent in 2020 and 140 per cent year-on-year in the first four months of 2021, in view of the depreciation of the Lebanese pound (by over 85 per cent) and Lebanon’s high import dependence. Coupled with worsening health conditions, the dire economic situation led to steady jumps in unemployment and poverty. The political stalemate is adding to the uncertainty of the outlook.
A further contraction of 5 per cent is expected in 2021 as a result of the ongoing economic crises, the government’s inability to borrow on international markets, delays in implementing critical reforms and the drying-up of financial resources.
The economy is expected to record positive growth in 2022 (5 per cent), conditional on the successful implementation of an IMF-supported programme by a reform-minded government, which would allow for the resumption of negotiations with international partners.
Lebanon in the EBRD's 2020-21 Transition Report