Here’s How We Made a Lasting Impact in September 2019
Spending Caps Alleviate Pressure on the Lebanese Economy 

September 10, 2019- Al-Joumhouria Newspaper, Beirut, Lebanon 

French presidential envoy Pierre Dukan, in charge of implementing the CEDRE conference, advised the Lebanese government to show sincerity in minimizing expenditure. Dr. Mardini remonstrated that the government does not have the 1.67 trillion Lebanese Pounds (LBP) for infrastructure projects planned in the 2019 budget. Mardini suggested emulating Hong Kong’s experience in using spending caps that proved effective in minimizing deficit and stimulating serious reforms. The private sector is better equipped to handle the cost and maintenance associated with these projects.
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The Solution to Trade Deficit Lies in the Private Sector 
September 3, 2019- New Lebanon Online Magazine, Beirut, Lebanon 
Prime Minister Saad Hariri declared a state of economic emergency at the socio-economic summit held at the presidential palace in Baabda. He suggested a series of reform propositions including protectionist measures to reduce the $16.6 billion trade deficit. LIMS’ senior policy analyst Majdi Aref, argued these measures will lead to higher prices and less choice for the consumer. They will also decrease Lebanon’s competitiveness and ranking on Economic Freedom of the World published by the Fraser Institute. The government should instead focus on reducing the fiscal deficit by transferring infrastructure projects to the private sector using the Build-Own-Operate example of electricity reform.
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Avoiding Lebanon’s Credit Default by Cutting Government Spending
September 11, 2019- New Lebanon Online Magazine, Beirut, Lebanon 

Average rates on Lebanon’s Eurobonds reached 14.7% as investors fret over the nation’s deteriorating finances. Few countries have sold benchmark dollar bonds with yields above 10% this century, and none of them above 13%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dr. Mardini explained that the government’s solution so far has been to hide the problem by exaggerating fiscal revenues, concealing expenditure and understating the real cost of debt services. He argued that a spending cap rule would show international capital markets and the donor community a serious engagement in reducing fiscal deficit and minimizing Lebanon’s credit default risk.
Click Here to Read the Article in Arabic
The Solution to the Litani River Pollution 
September 14, 2019- Janoubiya Online Magazine, Beirut, Lebanon 
600 cases of cancer have been reported in the village of Bar Elias alone and many more in the 300 towns bordering the Litani River. In 2016, the Lebanese government issued law 63, allocating LBP1100 billion as a solution to the river’s pollution. LIMS’ senior policy analyst Majdi Aref explained that Lebanon can prevent further violation on water sources by utilizing Rehabilitate-Operate-Transfer or Rehabilitate-Own-Operate contracts. This solution proved successful in Finland, France, Britain and the United States and would guarantee better water quality at no cost to the government.
Click Here to Read the Article in Arabic

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Freedom Audit: Reboot Economic Growth in Lebanon
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