Exporting to Lebanon
Liberal economic system
Lebanon has a liberal economic system with a dynamic private sector, a profitable banking sector and an attractive corporate tax rate of 17%.
UK trade links
The economic relationship between the UK and Lebanon is growing stronger. Lebanon is an important trading partner for the UK and offers a stepping stone to trade with other countries in the Middle East.
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in the Lebanon have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Oil and gas
Oil and gas reserves
The experience of UK companies in offshore North Sea oil exploration will give them an advantage in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector. 2D and 3D offshore seismic surveys have been conducted and the results are highly promising.
Exploration and production bids
On 4 April 2019, the Lebanese government launched a second offshore licencing round. UK companies wanting to explore Lebanon’s oil and gas reserves could participate in this. Bids must be submitted by 31 January 2020.
Oil and gas supply chain and servicing
The oil and gas sector will result in high demand for oil and gas servicing, an area in which Lebanese businesses currently lack knowledge and expertise. This means that UK businesses with experience in this area may find considerable demand for their services in Lebanon.
Food and drink
Alcohol is widely consumed in Lebanon and alcoholic drinks make up a significant proportion of all drinks exports. Whisky is particularly popular.
Sugars and confectionery products were Lebanon’s 4th most imported food and drink item in 2017 (CCIB, 2017). Due to Lebanon’s high costs of production, imported products are very popular due both to their cheaper price and their perceived quality.
Lebanese consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the implications of food choices for health and wellness. Their purchasing behaviour reflects a trend towards healthy and organic food, in which even snack foods are included.
UK brands have found considerable success in Lebanon through franchising arrangements.
Success of UK brands
Lebanon has long been considered one of the most cosmopolitan and progressive countries in the region. The taste of Lebanese consumers is widely known to be European. UK brands such as Ted Baker, Karen Millen and Monsoon have opened several successful outlets across Lebanon.
Demand for fashion
Fashion plays a pivotal role in Lebanese and Middle Eastern society. Social gatherings are a core part of the culture and women in particular tend to put considerable effort into their outfits for these events, resulting in high demand for fashionable clothing.
The UK exported over £60 million worth of medicinal and pharmaceuticals to Lebanon in 2018 (ONS, 2019). There is continued opportunity for UK businesses in the sector to enter the Lebanese market.
The standard of medical care in Lebanon is one of the highest in the region. Lebanon’s private sector hospitals are constantly seeking to improve their services and upgrade their equipment. In particular, there are opportunities for UK healthcare companies in the supply of high-tech medical equipment.
Demand for consultancy services
UK businesses can also capitalise on the demand for consultancy services in Lebanon’s healthcare sector.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s main priorities include supporting information and communications technology (ICT) in the education system. This presents opportunities for UK companies to provide technology and equipment for the education sector.
English language education
There’s considerable demand for English language education in Lebanon and the UK is a popular higher education destination. There are opportunities in Lebanon’s education sector for UK businesses to set up and run English language training centres.