(MEBG) – Signing on the dotted line may soon become as a thing of the past for many Lebanese businessmen as e-signature is soon to take its place. The Lebanese government approved last week a draft to legalize electronic and digital signatures as well as electronic documents, so as to reduce much of the red tape that traditionally paralyzes the country’s administration.
The Lebanese are following on the heels of the U.S., where Senate passed the “Millennium Digital Commerce” bill last June, allowing U.S. consumers to electronically sign their name over the Internet.
“We’re the first Arab country to pass such legislation and in fact there are only a handful of European nations, as well as the United States, which are similarly equipped with such legislation,” said Lebanon’s Economy Minister Nasser Saidi to The Daily Star.
Saidi said he was confident that the law would be instrumental in generating trade so as to fight the current recession. “This law will buttress the program for a new economy and the new law allows a major jump in the legal basis for all transactions,” he said.
New software must be accompanied by proper legal framework, Saidi noted, if Lebanon is to advance into the Internet age. “In the future the computer will be the direct link between the citizen and the ministry, but there has to be a solid legal basis for this,” he added.