Lebanon's economy is characterised by a highly private and liberal system where the private sector accounts for more than 75% of the demand. The private sector, in particular Small and Medium Enreprises (SMEs), forms the cornerstone of Lebanese economy and is the main source of job creation in Lebanon. Despite its dynamism and high resilience, the sector suffers from inadequate business enabling environment and lack of structural reforms. The unstable political environment and the budgetary constraints have made it difficult for the country to address issues such as poverty, unemployment, brain drain and inadequate infrastructure. It is within this context that the EU launched back in 2009 the €14M "Reinforcement of the Private Sector Competitiviness" Programme (PSD14) to address these constraints through a number of projects contracted using different EC instruments. The EU is now considering further assistance to the private sector in Lebanon Under its next programming phase (Annual Action Plan-AAP 2015). On the basis of past expériences and due to the difficulties encountered at macro level , the EU would like to focus the level of interventions at meso (private sector advocacy, business development services) and micro levels (direct support to entreprises, clusters, specific segments of the selected value chain). Building upon the results of the final evaluation of the PSD14 undertaken by AETS in July 2014, AETS has now received the mandate to assist the EU Delegation in identifying and formulating the next private sector development programme to be financed under the AAP 2015. The experts will be looking in particular, but not exclusively, at the following sectors: 1-agro-business; 2-Creative industries. In addition, the experts will propose one or two additional potential sectors of intervention.

Economic Development

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