Lebanon

AMPLIFYING PRIVATE SECTOR VOICES FOR ECONOMIC REFORM AND RECOVERY

Amid a severe financial crisis, the independent voice of the private sector in national-level decision-making is more essential than ever. By ensuring the private sector has a seat at the table and a voice in policymaking, Lebanese citizens can carve new paths ahead for the country through the current crises and reinvigorate democratic institutions and processes long neglected by the political establishment. With a combination of short-, medium– and long-term reforms in mind, CIPE supports a robust network of partners in Lebanon to champion inclusive market-based solutions to the economic crisis. In addition to catalyzing critically needed civic discourse, CIPE supports these organizations to sustain through a difficult time, be nimble in their response to the ever-changing political and economic crises, and advance accountability through inclusive policymaking.    

CIPE is committed to ensuring the sustainable growth, good governance, and overall excellence of its association partners. CIPE works closely with the leading business associations in Lebanon to support their development as effective and sustainable voluntary membership organizations. This has included optimizing membership models, developing organizational policy advocacy agendas, and public-private dialogues with government stakeholders and officials. CIPE also advances the role of Lebanese women business owners and entrepreneurs in policymaking. CIPE’s partnership with a women’s business network is aimed at expanding its voice as a leading representative of Lebanese women businesswomen and champion for inclusive economic policy reform and recovery efforts.  

CIPE also supports anti-corruption and transparency initiatives. This includes providing extensive technical support to make the issue of ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) a state reform priority and a key advocacy issue among civil society groups. CIPE supported the publication of an in-depth assessment of gaps in regulations and enforcement of Lebanon’s beneficial ownership regime, which maligned actors can exploit to exert political and/or economic influence. The first of its kind, this study proposed recommendations for closing governance gaps. It was referred to by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the “most comprehensive country report” they had seen from Lebanon. Consultations with the IMF regarding beneficial ownership resulted in an emphasis on transparency and anti-corruption in messaging around a bailout package for Lebanon, which is contingent on a set of reforms aimed at strengthening the country’s financial and political institutions. In April 2022, an amendment to the Public Procurement Law was passed, requiring UBO information in all public bids.