Lebanon 2018 | ECONOMY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Raya Haffar El Hassan, Chairman & General Manager, Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), on the economy sector.

Raya Haffar El Hassan

What incentives will TSEZ offer to investors?

A large amount of the incentives are financial, fiscal, and administrative measures as they are reflected in the law. We will also offer further advantages like state-of-the-art infrastructure and a one-stop shop. The proximity of the TSEZ to Syria is also attractive to certain investors considering the opportunities that will emerge with the Syrian reconstruction. Furthermore, tenants can take advantage of Lebanon's preferential trade agreements with the EU to export to Europe without customs duties. We are also commissioning a study to show that Tripoli can serve as a logistics hub because there are many facilities within Tripoli that are yet to be exploited.

What are TSEZ's main business objectives for 2018?

Most of our work this year and the next will focus on completing all the preparatory work so that we are in a position to start actual operations by 2020. Our objective for 2018 is to start the first phase of construction of the infrastructure. In 2017, the government provided us with USD15 million to cover the first phase of infrastructure costs. Hopefully we will finalize the masterplan, allowing us to be aggressive in the outreach to draw in more private sector developers.