One of the problems in the Lebanese economy that we do not efficiently use our capacities. Our country, contrary to what some think, has many capabilities and capacities. I will lay out and explain three main capacities and capabilities in this article.

1. Strategic Geographic Location: Lebanon is located at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa. This location can provide companies with an easy access to regional and global markets. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, the Lebanese governments is not benefitting from this location. Firstly, the political problems between some parties and movements with regional power countries prevented good commercial relationships between countries; the case of Hezbollah with GCC countries, for instance. Secondly, the Syrian war has negatively impacted the whole economy and created more hesitation for some investors and traders. Finally, there has been very little investment in infrastructure in Lebanon since the mid-1990s. A good infrastructure offers investors, wantrepreneurs, traders and international companies the opportunity to own the facilities that give services and help drive economic growth.

2. Human resources: Lebanese workforce is known for its skills, talent, and knowledge. But sadly, the dream of any graduate becomes the immigration. The Lebanese governments and companies, in my humble opinion, do not appreciate and value the capacities of the local population, despite the fact that the talented Lebanese were able to help GCC countries to grow in the 1960s-1970s. Now, the authorities should promote the elevated educational level and linguistic capabilities of Lebanese citizens in order to attract high-technology firms that require skilled human resources familiar with technology.

Also, the Lebanese government should do a better linking between local companies and the international Lebanese companies. Let’s be honest and realistic, not every Lebanese outside Lebanon will want to move back to the home country. But, the Lebanese government should try to benefit from these people and offer them the Lebanese market as a “kitchen” for their businesses. 

3. Economic advantages and market opportunities: The Lebanese government was not able to promote well its free market economy and liberal financial environment. Plus, regardless the openness of the market, Lebanon suffers from several problems that complicate things. One of these issues is the complex customs procedures. Moreover, the Lebanese authorities did not promote the investment opportunities in different sectors such as retail, agriculture, IT, and industry. 

 

Tripoli, the second-largest city is a perfect example of how the Lebanese officials are not using the capacities and capabilities. A ruined train station, a citadel occupied by soldiers, and an unused huge international fairground. To overcome the current economic problems in Tripoli and entire Lebanon, the government ought to remember that it can use the country’s location to its strategic advantage by projecting power into all those regions. Additionally, Lebanon can also use its central location to become a regional hub of transportation, communication, and trade. Skilled human resources and strategic geographical location can indeed be useful in developing the Lebanese economy.

 

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