Market opportunities in Lebanon?
2011 Lebanon imported sawn softwood with 66 Million USD as the main wood assortment. In total wood products (HS44) for 232 Million USD were imported. According to official statistics Romania is leading the softwood imports in Lebanon by an increased export from 30 to 35 Million USD per annum. Russia, the second biggest importer of softwood had to reduce the imports from 2010 to 2011 from 27 to 22 Million USD whereas Germany in contrary increased the market share for softwood imports to 13% (2010 5%) achieving 8 Million USD in 2011. Oak timber imports recovered from the level 2011 and reached 7.3 Million USD (2010 6.1 Millions USD). US companies are mainly importing oak with a market share of 86%. The Lebanese furniture market has a steady growing in the same way like the country’s economy trend. Main importers of furniture are besides China with a marketsshare of about 50% followed by Italy, Germany and Egypt and others.
Stable, steady growing economy
The Lebanese economy is strongly driven by its services industry, particularly tourism and financial services, with 75.8% of economic activity derived from the services sector. Although Lebanon is known for its agricultural exports, agriculture only contributes 5.1% of GDP. The Lebanon industry sector drives 19.1% of GDP and employs 26% of the total 1.481 million workers. Industrial activity is concentrated around the Beirut and Mount Lebanon areas. Almost 60% of firms are located in these two cities. Core industries in Lebanon include banking, tourism, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products and metal fabricating.
The Paris III Donor Conference 2007 helped Lebanon with more than $7.5 billion for developmental projects. However, it is conditional to the way in which the Lebanon economy grows. Therefore, many instrumental changes have been made in the economy so as to make it immune to financial as well as political vagaries, and this has contributed to consistent growth in the years since the Israel-Hezbollah war.
Lebanese real estate remain steady after period of strong activity in recent years that paved the way for an upward price trend from low bases in the middle of the past decade.The general drivers include reduced interest rates, high liquidity in the banking sector, availability of long term mortgages, favorable demographics, low taxes, alternative sources of financing, and encouraging laws for real estate foreign ownership.
“The slowdown in the beginning of 2012 was evidenced by the decline in the property sales (17 % drop year-on-year after a remarkable 24 % annual growth over the past five years) and the stagnation in construction permits year-to-date” due to less security in the political situation. With a resident population growing at a long-term average rate of 1.6 percent, about 15,000 units per annum are required. Non Residents accounts for around 40 % of the total demand for property in Lebanon. The residential demand is increasingly shifting towards smaller size lodging.
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Softwood timber Imports : Lebanon (1000 USD)AustriaCanadaFranceGermanyRomaniaRussian FederationTurkeyUkraineUnited StatesTOTAL
Oak timber Import : Lebanon (1000 USD) CanadaFranceGermanyItalySerbia & MontenegroUkraineUnited StatesTOTAL
Veneer imports : Lebanon (1000 USD)ChinaFranceGermanyGhanaItalySpainTurkeyUnited StatesOthersTOTAL