Foreign investors scout for Lebanon investment opportunities

The skyline of downtown Beirut is seen on October 06, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ)

BEIRUT: Several Arab and Western companies sent representatives to Lebanon to scout for investment opportunities, local media reported Sunday.

Al Mustaqbal newspaper said that unidentified companies had drawn up plans to invest in Lebanese businesses following the political breakthrough after President Michel Aoun’s election.

Arab investment in the Lebanese market has been on the decline since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011.

Lebanon’s relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries further soured last February when Riyadh halted $4 billion in military grants to the Lebanese Army and police and warned their citizens against traveling to the country. The move was in protest at perceived hostile stances against the kingdom linked to Hezbollah and Iran at Arab League and Islamic meetings.

Most GCC countries have advised their citizens not to travel to Lebanon, traditionally a touristic and business destination for Gulf nationals.

President Michel Aoun has been actively seeking to restore Lebanon’s regional relations since his election on Oct. 31.

Several GCC, Arab and international envoys and foreign ministers have visited Lebanon within the past two months to congratulate the president and discuss the prospects of future cooperation.