EBRD’s shareholders approved the membership of Lebanon to become a recipient of EBRD investments and advisory services. They expect to start the operations in the second quarter of 2017.
EBRD has been investing in 4 countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region since 2012. Lebanon is the 5th member country of the EBRD. The other 4 members are Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
The investment projects of EBRD in SEMED region are mainly in the energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, agribusiness and natural resources sectors in 130 projects with total value of more than 5.2 billion Euros.
Lebanon requested membership of the EBRD in July 2015 and stated that the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will help in economic growth of the country by investing in the major economic sectors.
Suma Chakrabarti, President of the EBRD, welcomed Lebanon as the bank’s 68th shareholder. “We are very proud and happy to welcome Lebanon to our bank and fully committed to engage in the country quickly and decisively”, he pointed. He continued, “The EBRD has financial resources and skills which it can apply in Lebanon for the benefit of the country, its economy and its people.”
According to an unnamed official, Lebanon will benefit from EBRD’s financing in projects of public sector as well as private sector. Providing support for private sector can be through loans or acquisition of shares in the capital of local companies.
EBRD is established in 1991 as a multilateral bank with the aim of providing support to market-based economies. Currently it’s owned by 66 countries as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. Each shareholder is represented on the Board of Governors, which has overall authority over the EBRD, according to the EBRD’s website.
Lebanon, a free market economy
Lebanon is the most welcoming country in MENA region to invest and doing business. Lebanon location provides easy access for companies to the regional and international markets.
Lebanon has a free market economy and a laissez-faire commercial tradition. It has a low corporate tax rate of 15% and a solid and safe banking system. It has one of the freest economy internationally due to the lack of restriction on capital flows.
See our previous article regarding Lebanon market, on Lebanon investment opportunities and incentives.
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Photo: EBRD website