Creating synergies

MIC Ventures is a new fund in the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem. Seeking to boost the value of startups and young companies that specialize in areas of interest from a mobile telecommunications perspective as well as establishing partnerships between sector companies and the two Lebanese mobile networks, MIC Ventures is itself a startup backed by governmental

A fund manager’s dream

The MIC in MIC Ventures is not short for Mission Impossible, Cruise. But it could be. Khaled Zeidan, the managing director of MIC Ventures, could easily have a second career modeling cool shades, and the chosen mission of MIC Ventures, should it succeed, will bring life to a sector whose true potential in Lebanon has

The petroleum legislative framework for Lebanon

Now that Lebanon has signed the first two exploration and production agreements (EPAs) for offshore oil and gas, companies will prepare the groundwork to start drilling at the beginning of 2019. This achievement is a long time coming. The first oil-related legislation, the Offshore Petroleum Resources Law, was enacted in 2010; the sector’s regulator, the

A nudge in the right direction

From preventing simple traffic violations to curbing rampant corruption, ensuring compliance with the rule of law in Lebanon is a serious challenge for policymakers. Heavy-handed controls often do not work, as they rely on individuals making rational decisions, and financial incentives are not sustainable in the long-run. What else can the government do to improve

The new PPP law

Previous experience in a number of countries has proven that public-private partnerships (PPP) are an efficient method for developing long-term infrastructure projects. Under a PPP model, the government remains focused on its primary regulatory role, while the private sector injects funds and expertise into developing projects for the benefit of the government and, ultimately, the

Making the most of it

Amartya Sen, the Indian economist and philosopher, wrote in a 2001 essay that in a world afflicted with “the deeply unequal sharing of the burden of adversities between women and men,” gender inequality must be understood as a “collection of disparate and interlinked problems.” Gender inequality is reflected in laws, regulations, rights, norms, responsibilities, and

A community effort

Executive sat down with the country’s first-ever minister of state for women’s affairs, Jean Oghassabian. The ministry was launched one year ago with a mandate to empower and protect women and promote and develop gender equality in Lebanon. E   This is the first term for you as minister of women’s affairs and, in fact,

The countdown to political progress

This year will see some economic actors sitting in the sun. It does not require special astrological powers to predict that the first half of 2018 will be good for the bottom lines of local advertising companies, social media platforms, billboard operators, pollsters, and audiovisual companies. Driving down any urban highway or country road and

Moving into a new world of parliamentary participation

At the end of February 2018, German women did it again. Chancellor Angela Merkel—supposedly the most powerful woman in the world, if one believes Forbes—won her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party’s election overwhelmingly to form a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had been hotly debated at the party and national level

A roadmap for 2018

This article was originally published in print on February 2, 2018 as part of Executive’s special report on oil & gas. At the end of January, Lebanon signed oil and gas Exploration and Production Agreements (EPA) with a consortium of companies composed of France’s Total (as operator), Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Novatek. The consortium had

Mother Lebanon

Beirut is depicted as a woman by many renowned artists, like Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, who—during the 1982 Israeli invasion—drew a caricature of his iconic character Handala offering a flower through a hole in the wall to a woman that he named Beirut. She is the patient carrier of our painful history, she is the

Cheers for the beers

Compared to the ancient history of beer in the Middle East, Lebanon’s small craft breweries are extremely new on the scene. The earliest evidence of beer brewing was found in Mesopotamia some 6,000 years ago, while the world’s oldest brewery, which was located in Egypt, dates to around 3400 BC. Beer eventually made it to

In high spirits

Behind that flute of prosecco or gin-based cocktail enjoyed at a bar after a long day—or even the single malt whisky or bottle of wine recommended by a premium specialty liquor boutique—there is an intricate distribution chain. Executive sat down with Lebanon’s major spirit importers and brand owners to discuss the Lebanese drinks of choice

Bringing order to the Order

After living in France for 30 years, Jad Tabet, an architect and urban planner, returned to Lebanon early last year to run for the presidency of the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut (OEA), an independent trade syndicate covering all Lebanese regions bar the North. Tabet campaigned as an independent against Paul Najem, a

Is Lebanon technologically ready to tackle growth?

In March 2017, The Economist reported that Intel, the giant American chipmaker, paid $15.3 billion for Mobileye, an Israeli firm at the forefront of developing autonomous-car technology. The deal was not the first to involve an Israeli tech firm attracting foreign buyers, but it was the biggest yet. The Mobileye acquisition is an example of