Lebanon overview

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.

Current EBRD forecast for Lebanon’s Real GDP Growth in 2018 1.1%

Current EBRD forecast for Lebanon’s Real GDP Growth in 2019 1.5%

In 2017, growth in Lebanon decreased from 1.7 to 1.5 per cent. The economy is driven mainly by private consumption – sustained by remittances from the Lebanese diaspora – and exports. Positive political development and renewed stability boosted confidence, and the reform momentum also supported growth in 2017. In 2018, growth was negatively impacted by the slowdown in the real estate sector, a major driver of growth, following the phasing out of subsidised lending.

Economic activity was also impacted by recent political developments after the May 2018 elections and delays in forming the government, and remained in a protracted period of low growth since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. Growth is expected to decrease further to 1.1 per cent in 2018, then pick up to a range between 1.5 and 1.9 per cent in 2019 depending on the recovery in the construction and financial sectors and the extent of reconstruction in Syria.

Lebanon in the EBRD's 2018-19 Transition Report