Lebanon industrial zones help economic growth while countering refugee crisis
June 7, 2018
It is hard to start a business in Lebanon. Land prices are high and it is difficult to find financing. Worse, many industrial areas around the country lack proper access to electricity, communications and transport.
The European Investment Bank is trying to fix this problem by supporting a government plan to build three modern industrial zones in Lebanon, some of which will be near the Syrian border in areas heavily affected by the refugee crisis. The hope is that more than 100 small companies will move into these zones, because land prices will be fair and the quality of infrastructure will be high.
In May, the EIB signed a EUR 52 million loan for the industrial zones under the Economic Resilience Initiative, a programme the Bank created in 2016 to address economic and social problems surrounding the refugee crisis. The zones will be the new home to agri-food, car repair and construction companies, as well as innovative firms. The EIB loan will finance the zones’ water lines, wastewater treatment, roads, electricity and other basic infrastructure.
Under the Economic Resilience Initiative, the Bank is increasing its financing by EUR 6 billion for projects in the Western Balkans, the Middle East and Africa from 2016 to 2020.