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Figures released by FDI Markets show that the cumulative value of Arab greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) in Lebanon totaled $11.43bn between January 2003 and April 2016. Lebanon was the 11th largest recipient of inter-Arab greenfield FDI among 21 Arab countries during the covered period, ahead of Syria ($10.65bn), Oman ($9.53bn), and Tunisia ($7.59bn), and behind Bahrain ($15.8bn), Morocco ($15.45bn) and Qatar ($12.27bn).

However, greenfield FDI projects in Lebanon from Arab countries rose by just $31m between April 2015 and April 2016. The value of greenfield FDI projects in Lebanon accounted for 3.7% of total inter-Arab greenfield FDI projects in Arab countries between January 2003 and April 2016.

The FDI figures cover cross-border greenfield projects that lead to the direct creation of jobs and capital investment. They include joint ventures when these transactions lead to a new physical greenfield operation, but exclude mergers and acquisitions and other equity investments. fDi Markets is a database that tracks cross-border greenfield investments across the world, and is owned by the Financial Times Group.

The UAE was the main Arab source of greenfield FDI in Lebanon with $7.31bn or 64% of the total, followed by Kuwait with $2.02bn (17.7%), Saudi Arabia with $1.84bn (16.1%), Qatar with $105m (0.9%), Bahrain with $94m (0.8%), Egypt, Iraq and Jordan with $15m each, and Oman with $13m (0.1% each).

In parallel, Lebanon attracted 89 greenfield FDI projects from Arab countries between January 2003 and April 2016, constituting the 11th highest number of projects among 21 Arab countries. Lebanon attracted more projects than Morocco (86 projects), Syria (74 projects) and Libya (54 projects), and fewer projects than Kuwait (128 projects), Iraq (98 projects) and Algeria (95 projects). Also, the number of greenfield FDI projects in Lebanon accounted for 3.7% of such projects in Arab countries over the covered period. Overall, the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia accounted for 87.6% of the number of projects in Lebanon and for 97.8% of their value.

Source: LTW – Byblos Bank