Digital Lebanon:

Lebanon plans to lead MENA digital market

Lebanon plans to lead MENA digital market



Lebanon is in need of good news. Ample good news is coming from its digital sector: Lebanese teams are winning distinction awards in regional digital competitions, and with Lebanese talents showing their qualities and promising work more investors are being attracted to digital start-ups and companies and millions are being poured annually into the country's digital and knowledge economy.

Lebanon’s digital sector is however still far from realizing its very large potential and this is not due to the lack of brilliant Lebanese minds and creative talents, but rather the lack of focus and mature ecosystem that would offer organizational and financial support and attract larger world players to the country.

While talent and a highly qualified digital workforce are essential components of a digital future for Lebanon, it is the availability of investment flows and the ability to attract larger players that will make the difference by boosting Lebanon’s plans to position itself as a regional and global hub for the digital age.

 Well-aware of the increasingly competitive environment and the globalized nature of the ICT industry, the government of Lebanon has been introducing policies and initiatives designed to develop the country’s capabilities as an ICT leader by creating the ecosystem necessary to attract investments and position Lebanon as a digital hub in the MENA region.

The Government of Lebanon is providing a strong boost for this strategy through initiatives such as the efforts to streamline digital transformation in the public sector and promote Lebanon as a digital hub on a global scale, as well as the Central Bank’s Circular 331 that provided direct financial incentives to ICT start-ups. Such initiatives will create more opportunities for investors, operators, solution owners, and entrepreneurs. The digitalization of Lebanon’s public sector and services are also part of a broader policy of encouraging private investment through public-private partnership and foreign investment.

The Digital Lebanon Conference, which will convene at the Phoenicia Hotel on 13  September  2019, aims to bring together policymakers, digital innovators, global digital players, and specialists to assess the present ecosystem for digital innovation and investment in Lebanon, identify weaknesses and inconsistencies and chart down best policies and options for positioning Lebanon’s as the premier digital hub for the MENA region.

 The conference will also focus on key policy interventions, initiatives and recommendations needed for Lebanon to be recognized by the year 2025 as a regional leader in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, and as a strong supplier of innovative technology and digital solutions. Other topics will also cover 5G, blockchain, artificial intelligence digital security and interdependence on a global scale.