NNA - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) project, launched the Lebanon Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Stewardship Program in partnership with Capital Concept S.A.L., which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Lebanon ESG Stewardship Program will support more than 100 Lebanese corporations and small and medium enterprises in adopting internationally accepted environmental, social, and governance practices. As a result, Lebanese companies will become more attractive to investors who require ESG compliance, contributing to a more sustainable and diverse financial ecosystem in Lebanon.
The launch event was held at Beirut’s Sursock Museum in the presence of the Minister of Economy and Trade, Amin Salam, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Nasser Yassin, USAID Mission Director in Lebanon Eileen Devitt, and representatives from United Nations Agencies, heads of economic and business associations in Lebanon, local and international financial institutions, and leading actors in Lebanon’s private sector.
In his opening remarks, Minister Salam thanked USAID for its support to the Lebanese private sector through the Lebanon ESG Stewardship program launch. “The Ministry is committed to support the relaunch of Lebanon’s economy, but we are also aware that the road to economic recovery is long. We welcome all efforts, such as USAID’s, that work toward providing Lebanese corporates and SMEs with an enabling investment environment during these challenging times,” said Minister Salam.
Meanwhile, Minister Yassin stressed the need for joint efforts between the Lebanese public and private sectors to push for the adoption of internationally-recognized business and investment practices. “While the Ministry remains at the heart of climate and environmental recovery, this is a collective effort. This USAID supported program will help the Lebanese private sector to step-up and become environmentally and socially responsible,” said Minister Yassin.
In her remarks, USAID Lebanon Mission Director Eileen Devitt reiterated the United States’ commitment, through USAID, to support the Lebanese people and businesses to overcome the underlying economic challenges. “Since 2014, USAID has facilitated investments in Lebanese businesses because of their ability to enhance Lebanon’s economic prosperity. In other programs, including the Middle East and North Africa Investment Initiative and the Lebanese Investment Initiative, we have witnessed tangible results that benefit the Lebanese people. Promising startups have advanced rapidly into full-scale businesses within a few short years…Today, by helping Lebanese businesses adhere to ESG standards, USAID is helping local corporates to better position themselves to attract funding and investment.” said Mission Director Devitt.
TIF partner and Capital Concept Founder Yasser Akkaoui outlined in his remarks how Lebanon must rise to meet emerging global principles and standards to remain competitive internationally, and in the Middle East and North Africa region.
“Adopting ESG standards is no longer optional. ESG-related risk is increasingly a focus of governments, regulators, and investors across the globe. Through this partnership with USAID’s TIF activity, we are creating the right conditions for the Lebanese private sector to remain relevant in an increasingly globalized environment,” he said.
About the USAID-funded TIF project:
USAID’s TIF project is designed to enhance economic opportunities in Lebanon by facilitating trade and investment in targeted business sectors, resulting in job creation and increased incomes for Lebanese citizens, with a strong emphasis on exports and enhancing women’s workforce participation.
TIF works towards increasing the exports of Lebanese goods and services, facilitating investment opportunities, and improving the business and investment enabling environment (BIEE) in Lebanon.