Le­banon Can Be­come MENA Tech Gate­way: UKLTH Re­port

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories -

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.

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