Industrial investment is down in Lebanon, according to recently released quarterly report by the country’s ministry of industry, which showed that 191 new factories were opened in Lebanon during the first half of 2000, compared with the 266 during the same period the previous year. The total capital investment over the same periods declined from LL 3.82 billion to LL 2.67 billion.
The ministry report said that volume of investments in the food and beverages sector totaled LL 25 billion in the first half of 2000, compared to LL 41 billion in the first half of 1999. The textile and clothes sector received total investments of LL 5 billion compared to LL 7.1 billion, while LL 3.1 billion was invested in the chemicals industry, compared to LL 3 billion during the same period in 1999.
The report attributed the decline in investments to the recent economic slowdown in Lebanon. Security concerns and Israeli air attacks, prior to that country’s withdrawal from Southern Lebanon at the end of the May, also took their toll on the flow of foreign investments into the country. Furthermore, said the report, the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process has also dampened the international community’s interest in investing in the local market.
On the other hand, the country’s exports grew by $10 million in the first half of 2000, compared to the corresponding period of last year. (Albawaba-MEBG)