Lebanon—Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Activity

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2020-2025

Region: Middle East and North Africa

Country: Lebanon

Solutions: Economic Growth

With a free market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition, Lebanon, until recent years, has been a regional epicenter for commerce, banking, and innovation. Now deeply mired in a political and financial crisis, the country needs a new direction and assistance to turn around the economy, restart finance and export markets, facilitate policy change, and drive new investments that will bring in foreign exchange and improve global competitiveness.

The Lebanon Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Activity supports that new start. TIF works to boost the exports of Lebanese goods and services, facilitate investment in Lebanese enterprises, and improve the business and investment enabling environment in Lebanon.

TIF’s priority sectors are tourism, agriculture and agrifoods, manufacturing, and the knowledge economy, with opportunities to be identified quickly based on a sector mapping exercise. TIF aims to generate more than $800 million in sales for Lebanese enterprises and leverage $270 million in private sector investment.

Lebanon TIF.jpg

Sample Activities

  • Co-create sector strategies and action plans.
  • Transition core partners into a network that can act as a lasting structure to mobilize private-sector resources and offer fee-based services.
  • Diversify and expand market access and networks through trade events; buyer missions; end-market presence and sales agents; and branding and marketing.
  • Build capacity of trade support institutions and service providers.
  • Jumpstart investment with pipeline deals and continued investment advisory.
  • Develop specialized nonbank financial products appropriate to export firms.

Select Results

  • Created 745 full-time jobs.
  • Helped sustain 5,600 jobs.
  • Supported a company called Biomass to raise $1 million in investment for the company to expand its production.
  • Provided 25 firms with transaction advisory support.
  • Closed a $1 million investment with an Egyptian fashion investor group for Atelier Jean Louis Sabaji—a Lebanese luxury clothing brand. The investment will finance fashion shows in Egypt and the development of five standalone stores in the country over the next three years.
  • Signed a second grant agreement with the Lebanese management consulting firm Euromena Consulting, following their support to 10 agro-food processors. The first collaboration yielded $668,000 in sales and created 14 jobs.
  • Helped Made By Nature Beyrouthy to support 90 Lebanese agriculture businesses with product refinement and market access. These businesses created 963 on-farm jobs and sold their produce at the monthly farmers’ market. TIF’s grant also helped Made By Nature Beyrouthy to open a profitable retail space.
  • Assisted Euromena Consulting in establishing an export cluster of 10 Lebanese companies. Within a year, these agro-food processors increased export sales by $700,000 and created more than 500 jobs. Marina Frozen Fries entered new markets in 5 countries, increased exports from 15 percent of production to 40 percent, and expanded potato planting from 5,500 to 10,000 tons annually, while Msallem Food Tech received market benchmark analyses, hired a graphic designer, and gained 8 new clients in 5 countries.
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