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August 26, 2019 | Sami Atallah, Nancy Ezzeddine
Promoting Lebanese Complex Exports through Upgrading Productive Knowledge

The Lebanese industrial sector has been challenged in the last five years facing a downfall in its exports. Even though most exports are of low and medium level of complexity, the industrial sector has been able to export sophisticated products. In fact, Lebanon has exported 38 out of the 100 most complex products in the world, signifying Lebanon’s accumulation of sophisticated productive knowledge and know-how. This brief, which is part of a three policy briefs series on manufacturing exports, calls for supporting productive capacity in an attempt to improve the standing of the sector through promoting exports of complex products. This guarantees an increase in Lebanon’s exports and a chance to penetrate new highly developed markets such as Europe and North America. To this end, we present two case studies from Lebanon’s complex machinery and chemical sectors to identify potential within each and opportunity for growth. We argue that the government must develop a more nuanced export strategy that promotes research and development supportive of innovation within these sectors.

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