The industrial sector in Lebanon is a major contributor to the economy creating high value-added jobs and representing a major source of hard currency through its export activity. Lebanon’s manufacturing sector is becoming more sophisticated with the development of innovative products and processes that puts him on par with other major innovative countries. Moreover, with the development of the oil and gas sector in Lebanon, and the planned construction of various industrial and special economic zones in the country, the industrial sector is expected to become more competitive and witness increasing investments.
KEY FACTS AND FIGURES:
In 2018, the sector accounted for around 8% of GDP (USD 4.2 billion) and employed 20% of the local labor force (around 318,000 employees).
There are over 4,700 industrial firms in Lebanon with 26% or 1,245 industries manufacturing agri-food products, followed by construction materials (12%) and chemical products (8%).
Industrial exports stood at USD 3.5 billion in 2019, accounting for 95% of total Lebanese exports.
Top five Lebanese industrial exports in 2019* arepearls and precious stones (41%), mechanical machinery (6%), electrical machinery and equipment (5%), plastics (4%), and essential oils and cosmetics (4%).1
Key export destinations in 2019 include Switzerland (30%), United Arab Emirates (12%), Saudi Arabia (6%), Syria (5%), and Iraq (4%).1
The share of medium and high-tech manufactured exports of total manufactured exports reached 21% in 2017indicating promising technological capabilities in the sector.
Industrial permits have increased at a CAGR of 16% from 375 in 2011 to 1,086 in 2018.
*Lebanon’s top exports at a HS2 level
Highly skilled workforce with competitive wages: More than 60,000 students were enrolled in STEM majors in 2018 accounting for around 30% of total enrollment. Moreover, the salaries of the skilled labor force is cost-competitive supporting the development of innovative and high-value industries.
Governmental support: The Government offers numerous financial and technical support such as tax incentives, fiscal exemptions and technical assistance through its different entities including IDAL, Central Bank of Lebanon, Ministry of Industry, Industrial Research Institute and others.
International treaties and agreements: Lebanon’s exports benefit from favorable export terms and access to external markets thanks to a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements most notably EU-Lebanon Association Agreement, EFTA, GAFTA, US-Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and other.
Source: 1Lebanese Customs
Industry Operational Licenses
COVID-19 INVESTMENT AND EXPORT GUIDE
Recommendations and preventive measures for the industrial sector in response to COVID-19