The Lebanese diaspora invests in the productive national economy
Leverage the diaspora to revive the productive national economy and endow the Lebanese living abroad with full political representation
A Cohesive, Egalitarian, Diverse and Dynamic Society
Investment opportunities in Lebanon
Remittances in %GDP
Expats investments in % of remittances
Lebanon continues to suffer an opportunity cost for not establishing strong links with its resourceful Diaspora
High share of non-productive diaspora inflow (consumption, real-estate): 72 USD Bn, corresponding to more than 70% of diaspora inflows(2005-2015) went into consumption (remittance); real estate, and banking ($22bn)
Remittances % of GDP
Low engagement effort and withering relationships with second and third diaspora generations
Data collection does not count Lebanese (both diaspora and other holders of foreign passports) to understand how many of them are coming to visit Lebanon and for which purpose
Lebanon, lack a clear definition of the concept ‘diaspora’.
Absence of framework to guide the government’s (and other institutions’) approach to recruiting the diaspora’s efforts in a systematic way.
Lack of a clear diaspora policy
The Lebanese diaspora is geographically dispersed and socio-economically and politically diverse. Therefore, it is difficult to create a unified framework for engaging it efficiently.
The Lebanese diaspora mistrust governmental institutions in the home country. They do not trust the not-for-profit sector either, given the lack of transparency.
The large potential for investment in business by the diaspora is not fully realized because Lebanese entrepreneurs abroad find that the policy environment at home is too uncertain and corruption too rampant.
Loss of confidence in banking sector, thus threatening the inflow of remittances
At the economic level, T-bills were emitted especially to target emigrants.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants started in 2014 the Lebanese Diaspora Energy conference (LDE) in Lebanon, an annual ritual gathering eminent people of the Diaspora in Beirut to celebrate their stories of success and engage in a strong partnership with their fellow countrymen, to seek investment opportunities in Lebanon. Regional Conferences are held in various destinations in the world. Several initiatives were launched under this project: Lebanon Connect, a mobile platform, to connect the Lebanese living abroad to promote economic and business opportunities between the Lebanese communities around the world. The Invest to stay program for the support of Lebanese expatriates who invest in touristic, economic, construction, and social projects in their countries of residence. The Lebanese Schools project to establish Lebanese schools in the Diaspora countries. Diaspora Houses, a touristic and cultural project that includes the restoration of ancient houses, to serve as a cultural hub for both emigrants and locals. Buy Lebanese, an awareness initiative to promote manufactured and agricultural products through local and global campaigns, while supporting related projects and programs in Lebanon
In August 2017, PM Hariri launched an application DiasporaID, a platform for networking, trade, development and collaborative action for the mutual benefit of Lebanon and its diaspora.
Incentives for investment / Legal protection for foreign investment / Fast-tracking doing business in Lebanon
Jobs for Lebanese / Loans for assets / Mentorship to Lebanese companies / Developing networks for exports development
Play a role in the formulation and negotiation of bilateral economic treaties between their home & destination countries.
Foreign firms in similar industries owned by members of the diaspora could host employees for temporary training abroad. This, naturally, should come accompanied by a bilateral agreement that deals with permits and visas for these workers. Partially or fully subsidize those experiences, potentially in the form of a conditional loans
Incentivize return migration of their citizens abroad by providing fiscal or other incentives.
Development and infrastructure projects in remote and rural areas, as expats are often attached to their city of origin
“Seed”: Prepare the next generation of Lebanese workforce and monitor emigration-“Radiate”: Develop a solid diaspora database and promote national identity to strengthen the bond between Lebanon and its diaspora - “Reap”: Leverage the diaspora network through encouraging productive investments, opening access to export markets, and transferring knowledge - “Advocate”: Harness and formalize advocacy through establishing a diaspora advisory board (advise the GoL and advocate for Lebanon’s interest) / Tourism: Invest in events and channels connecting with diaspora