Change can happen
According to Marwan Malek owner of Pharma M one of the largest pharmaceutical company in Lebanon, “IDAL has been of great assistance to me throughout this endeavor; its helpful staff have guided me through all required procedures to set up my business, and its tax exemptions will be a great boost for my profitability.”
The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) is the national investment agency of the country that was created in 1994 to attract and retain investments in the country and improve the business environment.Since 2001, IDAL supported in channeling more than 2 billion $ worth of investments to the country and directly contributed to the creation of more than 7000 jobs (based on IDAL’s computation).In essence, IDAL provides investors with a set of attractive financial incentives which can run up to 100% exemptions on corporate income tax if certain criteria are met. Other services provided by IDAL include providing investors with information on the investment climate and investment opportunities. A UNDP team section was put in place at IDAL in 2003 to support IDAL in implementing its mandate. In 2011, upon the administration request, a new team was brought on board to support the institution in achieving its mission and vision.
The UNDP team succeeded in developing the tools needed to compete on the global arena and thus support in institutional building and to build an effective collaboration with the institution management and operational team.One of the team’s 1st successes was to support the institution in launching a new online platform which acts as a One Stop Shop for national and international investors. It is the 1st platform of its kind put in place by a government institution in Lebanon, in terms of the type and scope of information provided. IDAL’s new website provide investors with all kind of commercial, legal, and financial information needed to open and operate in Lebanon (www.investinlebanon.gov.lb).
- IDAL supported in channeling more than 2 billion $ worth of investments to the country
- contributed to the creation of more than 7000 jobs (based on IDAL’s computation)
The information available was compiled through collaboration with government institutions which have some type of involvement in facilitating business in Lebanon. According to the latest World Bank report, IDAL’s new website ranks 1st compared to regional peers in the MENA region in terms of content and promotional effectiveness, only 6 percentage points lower than the best IPA in the world.
Also the UNDP team succeeded to implement an internal tracking system similar to a CMS (Customer Management System) that tracks and monitors all investors requests and contacts with IDAL. Providing seamless support to investors and improving the doing business environment is one the key objectives of a national government in general and of an investment promotion agency in particular. The implemented system includes an automatic notification alert which constantly reminds the institution on upcoming actions to be taken with the investor. The team greatly contributed to improving the image of the institution through developing visual corporate identity standards for IDAL and the sectors it promotes, and through ensuring homogeneity in publications designs and dissemination. IDAL is now available on all social media platforms and its reach to investors is growing by the day through targeted networking, e-marketing, and sporadic advertisement . The number of investors which have requested IDAL’s support has increased dramatically over the last 3 years, highlighting the trust that investors have placed in a government institution.