Lebanese Ministerial Committee Approves Draft Law to Attract Foreign Investment
A Lebanese ministerial committee approved Monday a draft law promoting foreign investment, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
The committee, said the paper, approved the draft law after adding a few amendments to it as a prelude to submitting it for final approval by parliament.
The proposed legislation must be endorsed by the cabinet before going to parliament.
“This draft law coincides with the cabinet’s current plan for boosting foreign investments in several ways,” the committee said in a statement, quoted by the daily.
“This includes lowering interest rates on loans and trying hard to reduce the cost of servicing the government’s public debt, which accounts for more than 43 percent of the total national budget,” said the statement.
The committee indicated that the government regarded promoting investment as one of its priorities and has been in touch with several states and international organizations that showed readiness to cooperate.
The committee said potential donor states include members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, as well as other nations, including France and the United States, said the paper.
The statement added that discussions were under way with the World Bank and the European Union, “which both showed deep and positive understanding of Lebanon’s policies concerning reducing public debt and, hence, easing pressure on the national budget and the national economy as a whole.”
Foreign investors may invest in any sector, except for armaments and national security, according to a study by Trade-port organization.
There are also restrictions on real estate ownership by non-Lebanese and non-Arab individuals, said the study, adding that with very few exceptions, there is no discrimination between national and foreign investment and no discrimination against foreign investors.
Foreign-owned firms have the same investment opportunities as local firms, according to the study -- Albawaba.com