The Global Competitiveness Report: Lebanon Infrastructure Ranked 127th Out of 144

Lebanon

According to the 2013 Global Competitiveness Report, Lebanon ranked 116th out of 144 in terms of basic requirements, 125th out of 144 in terms of institutions, 135th and 32nd (out of 144) in terms of macroeconomic environment and health/primary education respectively.

The most problematic factors for doing business in Lebanon are:
- Inadequate supply of infrastructure
- Inefficient government bureaucracy
- Government instability/coups
- Corruption
- Policy instability
- Access to financing
- Inflation
- Insufficient capacity to innovate
- Poor work ethic in national labor force
- Inadequately educated workforce
- Restrictive labor regulations
- Poor public health
- Tax regulations
- Tax rates
- Crime and theft
- Foreign currency regulations

You can check out the full report [Here].

Against Approving The Wage Scale Draft

Minimum_Wage_Lebanon_pic_1
via Al-Akhbar

I am glad the wage scale draft submitted by the Syndicate Coordination Committee did not pass yesterday, not because the banks and economic committees’ arguments convinced me, nor because I believe the current system is a just one, but simply because it’s not the right time to approve such a bill.

I will not dig into details here, but the problem is not with those who are demonstrating in favor of this bill, but in the thousands of useless and corrupt government employees that will get undeserved raises and worsen the financial burden on the Lebanese state. Unfortunately, a lot of decent workers are paying the price for these corrupt individuals, but things could get much worse for ALL Lebanese if this bill is to pass, at least in its current form.

The Lebanese government needs to find a way to cut down expenses, by eliminating the MPs and Ministers’ salaries to begin with, by cutting down the number of employees in governmental institutions, and by increasing the taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and other non-essential goods. These are few suggestions and I am sure a lot of economists and experts have better ideas, better than raising the VAT like it was suggested yesterday.

Telecom Ministry: Higher And Cheaper Internet Speeds Within A Month

8-internet-lebanon
Picture via MayaZankoul

Lebanon’s Telecom Minister Boutros Harb is promising faster and cheaper internet speeds within a month as well as unlimited plans. He’s also talking to the Wall Street Journal about fiber optics and implementing Law 431, which would allow free competition in the telecom market and stop the duopoly led by Alfa and Touch.

These are very ambitious plans to accomplish within few months, but I can only wish him good luck as these are all positive steps that would help make the internet better in Lebanon. I don’t think the government will allow competition as it will cut down its revenues from the Telecom sector but faster and cheaper internet speeds are great news. The first change introduced by Harb on prepaid cards wasn’t relevant to the majority of mobile users in Lebanon, so let’s wait and see if any of these more suitable demands is implemented.

Lebanese Civil Defence Volunteers Rescue Woman On Verge Of Suicide

The woman was identified as being an Ethiopian domestic worker. The Lebanese Police should investigate on the reasons why she was throwing herself off the balcony with the owners.

Great work from the Civil Defence guys!