SmartEx is an important yearly international technology exhibition which will take place from 11 until 13 April in Beirut, Lebanon. The exhibition offers place for technological innovations in the broadest sense of the word, ranging from SmartHealth, FinTech, Cyber & IT Security to Internet of Things. Several Tech. Talks be organized, during which market leaders and start-ups will talk about different technical and innovative subjects, like fiber optics, blockchain and latent consumer insights.
The Lebanese ICT industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Lebanon and was in 2016 436.2 million USD worth. The largest part of this market consists of hardware (60%), followed by ICT services (31%) and software development (9%). The use of digital services by the Lebanese government, companies and consumers is expected to continue to grow as well as the demand for more complex ICT services.
Although more than 76% of the population uses the internet and online services, Lebanon as a country is small. For this reason most Lebanese companies focus on the region, especially on the Gulf states, followed by the rest of the MENA region and Europe.
The Lebanese banking sector has a good reputation as well regulated, developed and advanced. Fitch and Moody's rate the Lebanese banking sector as stable, healthy and with little risk factors. In 2015 Lebanon has introduced new legislation to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism and Lebanese banks seek to implement international standards in this regard.
Lebanon is an important FinTech hub in the region. So are 14% of all FinTech start-ups established in Lebanon and only the United Arab Emirates (29%) and Egypt (16%) host more start-ups. The Lebanese are also keen users of digital technologies, eg. 54% of the population uses digital banking, with growth opportunities for insurance and payment solutions.
The healthcare sector in Lebanon appears high on international rankings. According to the Healthcare Access and Quality Index 2018 of The Lancet is the healthcare in Lebanon better than the Gulf states and comparable to countries like the United States and Portugal.
The healthcare industry in Lebanon offers opportunities regarding medical tourism, but also SmartHealth. Although the Lebanese government has launched multiple innovation and reform initiatives, like a track and trace system for drugs, most demand comes from consumers and private parties, like private clinics and pharmaceutical companies.