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Cablegate: Lebanon Calls for Inter-Arab Cooperation On Intellectual

VZCZCXRO3496
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHLB #1147/01 2921340
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191340Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5915
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIRUT 001147

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV PGOV SOCI LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON CALLS FOR INTER-ARAB COOPERATION ON INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY (ECONOMIC WEEK IN REVIEW, OCTOBER 12-18, 2009)

CONTENTS
--------

-- LEBANON CALLS FOR INTER-ARAB COOPERATION ON INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY
-- GOL TO ISSUE EUROBONDS TO MEET FOREIGN FINANCING NEEDS FOR 2009
-- IDAL EXPECTS 20% INCREASE IN FDI IN LEBANON IN 2009
-- LEBANON SHOWS IMPROVEMENT IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT RANKING


LEBANON CALLS FOR INTER-ARAB
COOPERATION ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
------------------------------------

1. (SBU) Lebanon hosted the Fifth Regional Coordination Meeting
industrial property and copyright officers in Arab countries on
October 12-14, in Beirut. The workshop was organized by the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Arab League, in
cooperation with the Lebanese ministries of economy and trade (MOET)
and of culture. This is the first time all the Arab countries have
attended the workshop, MOET intellectual property (IP) officer
Wissam Amil told us October 15. Participants endorsed MOET Minister
Mohammad Safadi's proposal to create an IP website at the Arab
League, as well as a trademark database for Arab countries.

2. (SBU) Amil added that, for the first time, industrial property
officers from seven Latin American countries attended the workshop.
Discussions covered the exchange of expertise in IP education and
awareness campaigns. Amil believes these countries are seeking to
strengthen their business relationships with Arab countries.

3. (SBU) Amil told us that on the sidelines of the workshop, Safadi
asked WIPO director general Francis Gurry for technical assistance
to tackle IP protection in the pharmaceutical sector, specifically
regarding trade secrets and undisclosed information. Safadi also
asked for technical assistance, in the form of training and
equipment to upgrade the MOET's IP system, to implement the Madrid
Protocol and Patent Cooperation Treaty, which Lebanon plans to join
pending parliamentary approval. Gurry expressed strong support for
improving Lebanon's IP environment, Amil said, adding that a WIPO IP
expert will begin the upgrade the MOET's IP system as early as next
week.

GOL TO ISSUE EUROBONDS TO MEET
FOREIGN FINANCING NEEDS FOR 2009
--------------------------------

4. (SBU) The GOL plans to tap the markets for approximately $500
million to meet part of its foreign currency financing needs for
2009, according to the head of economic unit at the Finance
Ministry, Rola Azour. This issue will replace a maturing Eurobond
issue in the same amount, she said, noting that the GOL cannot
borrow more from the markets without the passage of a new budget.
Given high liquidity in the banking sector, Azour said the market
should jump on the new issue, especially as interest rates continue
to drop on the domestic and international markets. Last week,
Central Bank of Lebanon (CBL) Governor Riad Salameh noted that
Lebanon will not have problems refinancing the public debt in
2009-2010 thanks to high liquidity in the market.

5. (SBU) Azour said the GOL needs $4.7 billion, $1.2 billion of that
in foreign currencies, to meet its financing needs from September
through December. Azour said the GOL has excessive financing needs
in Lebanese pounds (due to over-subscriptions from banks and
depositors in treasury bills to absorb liquidity from the market)
and will go to the CBL to exchange excess Lebanese pounds for
dollars to meet the rest of its foreign financing needs.

IDAL EXPECTS 20% INCREASE
IN FDI IN 2009
-------------------------

6. (U) The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL)
projected foreign direct investment (FDI) in Lebanon to increase by
20% in 2009, reaching $4.32 billion. According to IDAL Chairman
Nabil Itani, this is in line with the growth in banking deposits
from July 2008 to July 2009, reflecting the strength and stability
of the Lebanese economy. Itani believes Lebanon's strong
performance in 2009 has made it one of the most attractive
investment destinations in the region. In 2008, FDI in Lebanon rose
by 32% to around $3.6 billion, according to the UN Conference on
Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

LEBANON SHOWS IMPROVEMENT
IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT RANKING
----------------------------


BEIRUT 00001147 002 OF 002


7. (U) Lebanon ranked 83 out of 182 countries worldwide and 9 among
20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region in the
United Nations' 2009 report on human development. Lebanon ranked 88
worldwide and 10 in the region in the previous report. The survey
uses a Human Development Index (HDI) to measure a country's
achievements in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment,
and adjusted real income. Worldwide, Lebanon was considered to have
a "high level" of human development compared to a "medium level" in
the previous report.

SISON

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