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The ICT sector in Lebanon scores a good performance in 2013 while representing 9% of GDP


The ICT sector in Lebanon has had a positive performance in 2013 despite the political crisis in Lebanon and the spillover of the Syrian crisis on various economic sectors.  These results were the major findings of a recent report released by the International Business Monitor and which has estimated the growth of the ICT sector in 2014 will reach 7.8% corresponding to a total business value of USD 397.6 million compared to 368.7 million in 2013.  This will be coupled with an increase in the individual yearly spending on technology from USD 76.3 USD to USD 80, which is expected to increase to USD 111 in 2017 thus scoring an average growth of 9.8%.  The entire ICT sector is expected to grow between 2014 and 2017 by 11% reaching a total value of USD 560 million.
According to the report, a further development of this sector will require investing in building technical ICT capacities as well as launching the electronic government.  The report also notes that the currently prohibitive communication costs are undoubtedly the key hurdles facing the development of this sector while its main strength resides in the availability of skilled and multi-lingual labor.  Furthermore, the report adds that situation of the Lebanese ICT market has the potential of making Lebanon a regional hub especially since it has yet to reach saturation level.
Economic expert Charbel Kordahi commented on these figures by saying that the ICT has contributed some 9% to the GDP by the end of 2013 compared to an average of 5.5% between 1997 and 2012.  He added that the significant investments in this sector have increased exponentially since 2012 and have strongly affected the GDP, the active labor force, as well as overall economic indicators.  Kordahi also noted that the contribution to the ICT sector into the GDP now exceeds USD 600 million if we include its direct and indirect impacts.  He explained that the ICT impact is not restricted to the level of ICT sales and employment opportunities but also can be measured in terms of improvements in the quality of services and increasing productivity of individuals and companies.
Source: Al-Hayat 28 January 2014

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