FINANCIAL NEWS

Lebanon’s infrastructure needs $20b investments

23 Oct 2010

(MENAFN) Lebanon needs to spend at least $20 billion to improve its basic infrastructure otherwise the high growth the country has been witnessing will dwindle and vanish, the economy and trade minister said.

Lebanon is famous for its robust service-oriented sectors, but many investors are discouraged from setting up businesses in a country where power cuts are frequent, road networks beyond the capital are insufficient and communication lines are slow.

A total of $4 billion is earmarked for infrastructure investment in the 2010 and 2011 budgets, neither of which have been ratified by parliament because of political wrangling.

If the budgets are ratified, Lebanon expects to spend $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion on expansions and improvements to electricity and water networks, $300 million to $400 million on roads and the rest on communications, Safadi said.

The minister said he hoped a draft law on public private partnerships (PPP) would be approved within three months, opening the way for the private sector to enter the market.

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