Critical steps are needed in the areas of enforcement and institutionalization in the Lebanese market to reap the gains of a competition law recently enacted by the parliament, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said in a study.
Titled “Competition in Lebanon,” the study says the law “is an opportunity to build a healthy and competitive market that supports the revival of the Lebanese economy” as the consumer inflation rate in the country was 128 percent in 2021 and 65 percent in 2022 and the unemployment rate reached 43.5 percent in 2021 and 32 percent in 2022.
The enforcement of a competition law “will affect Lebanese businesses positively by establishing a market that is dynamic, productive and innovative.”
“Competition encourages business to deliver goods and services in the most efficient way possible to maintain a strong and competitive position against competitors, driving prices down and quality up for the benefit of consumers,” said ESCWA.
It added that a competition law and policy are vital for reducing poverty and decreasing inequality.
Meanwhile, Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh said on Friday he hoped prior conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a staff-level agreement with Lebanon would be met in order to secure IMF board approval of a program.
The IMF said on Thursday it had reached a draft funding agreement with Lebanon, but that Beirut needed to enact a batch of economic reforms before its board decides whether to approve the deal.
"We hope that the prior conditions set by the IMF are met in order to have a program approval by the board of the IMF," Salameh told Reuters via text message, describing the agreement as "a positive event for Lebanon".