Business Sectors in Lebanon
Lebanon offers foreign investors a wide variety of choices in all of its business sectors. There are a lot of untapped opportunities in the real estate, tourism, industrial, health, agriculture, transportation and IT sectors. Ever year, Lebanon's business sectors put on trade shows in order to attract investors from around the world.
Lebanon's financial sector includes the Central Bank, the Banking Control Commission, the Lebanese Banking Association, as well as various international banks and credit institutions. The Central Bank is the financial sector's biggest institution, and it is responsible for maintaining the economy's stability and for the implementation of fiscal policy. Lebanon's Central Bank issues currency, tries to keep a lid on inflation, and gives financial advice to the government.
The financial sector in Lebanon is renowned for its open nature, and has attracted foreign investors in both off- and onshore activities. There are 52 commercial banks in Lebanon (10 of which are foreign), eight investment banks and 18 branch offices of foreign banks; a high percentage of foreign-based activity when one considers Lebanon's small size. The preferred currency of the Lebanese financial sector is the US dollar, and only one quarter of the country's banking is done in the lira, the local currency.
Lebanon's insurance sector, while still small, has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, and small as it is, it is still more advanced than that of other Middle Eastern countries.
The country of Lebanon is an ideal place for a developing tourism sector, because of its hospitable people, mild climate, beautiful landscapes, landmarks, and rich cultural history. Lebanon's tourism sector offers a lot of opportunities for investors, and thanks to its literate population and its open business world, the country's information technology sector is growing at a rapid pace. The Investment Development Authority is overseeing the development of the BETZ, which is a tech park designed to create more jobs and to attract investors.
Because of its location near Europe, Lebanon and its capital Beirut have long been regarded as the trendsetters of the Middle East. Its location has made it into a melting pot of trends, cultures and flavors. Beirut's fashion and nightlife sector has recovered greatly from the war; it is now a hub for travel and leisure with nightclubs, casinos, Vegas-style shows and numerous investment opportunities.
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