We have all read or heard about the amazing articles in the New York Times, Paris Match, the Washington post and other reputable Media about the high life in Lebanon, and how the country doesn’t need a lot of time of peace to re-stabilize and position itself as the jewel of the Middle East.
Lebanon is known to be one of the world’s top provider of Human resources; according to “Information-International” 2 out of 5 Lebanese live and work abroad, not counting people who have abandoned their citizenship and either live in the Americas, Europe or Africa.
The Lebanese diaspora usually wait for a period of political stagnation to come and visit Lebanon checking on relatives. This time it was a bit different for them; as the financial crisis has worsened their situation abroad -a phenomenon that is not apparent in their original country due to an excellent banking regulatory practice, and a risk avert financial strategy- they thought of Lebanon as something more than a vacation time.
Lebanese expatriates coming to Beirut are witnessing an out of this world ambiance, an atmosphere that haven’t been seen before, one that caters to all levels, wether you are a family enjoying some quiet time at the beach, in the mountains, or a young crowd looking for exceptional parties with world class music and entertainment performers, the place became so charming that it is hard for them to leave.
Hard to leave means looking for a job in the country; is this viable or is it just emotional?
Let’s have a look at the economical situation and the growth forecast.
The country witnessed a growth rate of 4% to date in 2009, and could reach a 6% if it starts filling the gap in infrastructure shortages. Investment in real estate and infrastructure are not shy, where foreign direct investment plays a big role, and several new projects were announced.
Fears of political stability might be a question that job seekers ask, while the political situation affects directly the job market, Lebanon has managed to position itself as an operations hub for Corporates in the region and is regaining its service exporting culture which will continue even when the stability is an issue.
With more and more opportunities on the employment market, human capital pay has risen in Lebanon as compared with the past 10 years, and foreign expertise is rewarded, having said that, the pay is still below other countries in the region what is justified by a lower cost of living.
In a nutshell, Lebanon’s outlook is very optimistic and with the expertise that the expatriates could bring, the infrastructure gap will be filled and the country will build on the services niche that it has always dominated.