- Advertising Agencies
- Architects

- Banks

- Car Dealers
- Car Rental
- Casinos
- Commerce
- Consulting
- Cosmetology
- Craft

- Data Processing &
Computer Systems
- Decoration &

- Editing
- Elementary Schools
- Engineering &
- Environment / Waste
Management Services
- Express Delivery

- Fashion
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Furnished Apartments

- Health / Beauty
- Higher & Vocational
- Home Appliances
- Hotels 3
- Hotels 4(A)
- Hotels 4(B)
- Hotels 5
- Hotel & Restaurant

- Industry
- Insurance
- Interior Design /
- Internet

- Jewelleries

- Lighting
- Luxury

- Media
- Music

- Office Equipment /
- Oriental Carpets
- Outside Decoration

- Printing
- Promotional Materials

- Real Estate
- Recruitment
- Restaurants

- Sanitary Wares
- Security
- Services
- Sweets

- Taxi
- Telecommunication &
Mobile Phones
- Transport
- Travel Agencies
- Technical Studies

- Watches
- Water Treatment



Back to archives Back to news
French Version

IMF lends data expertise to Beirut new... - The Daily Star

IMF lends data expertise to Beirut new system will at last produce useful figures on GDP, growth Program will treat local deficiencies by imposing international norms - The Daily Star

With the help of the International Monetary Fund and other financial organizations, Lebanon could finally have a vestige of a statistics system by mid-2003, redeeming its checkered past of missing data.

The General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), an IMF statistics program adopted officially by the Lebanese government in September of this year, promises to be a panacea for Lebanon's statistics deficiency.

The idea behind GDDS is to unify the standards of compiling data in Lebanon with international norms, particularly IMF standards. The system, which has been adopted by four other Arab countries already, has been espoused by the Central Bank's vice-governor, Nasser Saidi. He is GDDS's coordinator in Lebanon and he is touting the benefits of a system that could bring more credibility to government statistics.
"We are working to launch by mid-next year a portal, called Lebstat, providing all available statistics on Lebanon," said Saidi, a former minister of economy, trade and industry.
"We estimate the overall project will cost between $3 million to $5 million over the years. It is being financed by various organizations."
The Central Bank is chipping in, but the rest of the cash may come from organizations such as the World Bank.
But the Central Bank's work will not be easy. The portal, at the end of the day, will have to garner statistics from various government ministries, who have lagged in the past in providing accurate statistics on time. If they fail to meet the deadline set down by GDDS, the portal will not get all the information it needs.

Still, the GDDS system is unlikely to fill all of the data loopholes in Lebanon. Figures such as those for gross domestic product (GDP) and growth have been missing for years in Lebanon, and fieldwork in the form of surveys will be needed to compile them. It is not GDDS's responsibility to come up with GDP or any other figures. "We are not here to replace ministries or administrations," said Saidi.

In theory, the Central Administration for Statistics (CAS) is the body responsible for disseminating figures, but it has been debilitated over the years.

According to an IMF delegation that visited Lebanon in spring this year to assess its statistical might, the dearth of clear figures in Lebanon is often puzzling. "The reliability and coverage of macroeconomic statistics in Lebanon are inadequate for effective monitoring of economic developments and policy formulation, with the exception of monetary and financial statistics," said the IMF team in a report. It recommended a new statistics law to replace the antiquated decree of 1979, which defines the authority of CAS. The IMF mission further argued against absolving CAS from compiling national account statistics, as is the case now.
"The mission is not convinced that the decision to abandon the compilation of national accounts estimates for 1997 to 2000 is appropriate in the context of the urgent need to produce such statistics in Lebanon," said the team in its report. "It is not practical or realistic to wait until every single precondition for data collection is fully met before Lebanon proceeds with the compilation of national accounts statistics."

Currently, the French statistics institute INSEE is helping the government compile some figures on GDP. Some economists have argued that the IMF has often been displeased with the figures presented by Lebanese officials, who are said to practice some creative accounting.

But Saidi argued the GDDS system was not imposed by the IMF, which regularly tries to assess Lebanon's financial status with few official figures to back up its progress reports.
"We asked to be included in this system and it was adopted in a Cabinet decree issued Sept. 5 this year," said Saidi. According to the decree, the Finance Ministry requested Lebanon be included in the GDDS system, followed in 55 countries. The GDDS, though, has yet to include social-demographic figures, such as a population census. Lebanon has not conducted a comprehensive official population census since 1932, although the Social Affairs Ministry published some population figures in 1996.

CAS is currently working on issuing inflation figures by next year. The Central Bank is also busy compiling statistics to issue next year.
"We plan to publish figures on foreign direct investment in collaboration with the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)," said Saidi. "The Bank is also compiling statistics on Leban-ese investments abroad and remittances/transfers coming into Lebanon."

Beirut 26-11-2002
Dania Saadi
The Daily Star

Business News
Business Forum
Business Opportunities
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Currency Exchange Rates
Some Marks
To see in Lebanon
Media of 1stlebanon
Impact of 1stlebanon
Add your company
Press Book
Flowers delivery Lebanon
Flowers delivery Dubai
Oriental food specialty
Lebanese wine
Real estate agency Beirut
Hotel Hamra-Beirut
Car rental
Rent a car lebanon
Reservation for your travel in Lebanon
Association des français de l'étranger
-section Liban
Diamond jewelry Lebanon
Jewelry manufacturer Lebanon
Jewelry watches-Swiss made watches
Diamond Swiss watches
Modern and comtemporary jewelry
Byzantine & Phoenician jewelry
Jewelry creation
Oriental, classical and traditional decoration
Hand made furniture
Construction management Lebanon
Projects development
Shoes manufacturer and distributor Lebanon
Sole agent of Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Web development
Web marketing
Printing press services
Paper products
Insurance company Lebanon
Insurance Lebanon
Rent villas France
Hotels all over Syria
Hotel management company
University Lebanon
Arab Media News