Lebanon Can Become MENA Tech Gateway: UKLTH Report
A new report by UK Lebanon Tech Hub, maps out Lebanon’s huge growth potential in Fintech, well-being (healthcare, fitness, and food lifestyle products), and digital visualization sectors. The report states, that there are three core technological capabilities to enable the various sectors: Software as a service (SAAS), Internet of Things (IOT), and digital technologies. It also outlines a plan to create 25,000 ICT jobs by 2025. The report states that nearly $12m in new revenues and investment has been secured and more than 130 new jobs created since June 2015. The new findings followed the examination of 339 ICT companies in Lebanon and are based on a mapping of strengths and weaknesses of the local knowledge economy, an assessment of global trends, and a comparison of ecosystem development experiences with countries of a similar profile (including Estonia, Latvia, Northern Ireland, and Israel). The report estimates that growth in the knowledge economy in Lebanon would increase the number of employees directly related to the sector by 15% and a further 5% increase in the wider economy with spillover effects that would contribute an additional $ 7 billion to Lebanon’s GDP by 2025. The opportunity is promising for R&D transfer from academia to industry as Lebanon is ranked 15 out of 62 countries in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2015 report. The same report also identifies Lebanon’s highly educated, skilled, and successful diaspora as a key pillar of its resilience as well as a huge source of opportunity going forward as it provides strong access to several key international markets. Lebanon’s remittances have grown steadily from $ 2.54 Billion in 2002 to $ 7.7 billion in 2014 - as a percentage of the GDP, remittances amounted to 16.2%, the 13th highest ratio in the world.