The UAE and Lebanon discussed potential projects during Hariri's visit

Lebanon's economy is under pressure as the country enters its second month of protests

Demonstrators shout during a protest in Tripoli, Lebanon, November 2, 2019. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Powered by automated translation

The UAE and Lebanon discussed potential joint projects between the two countries during the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri's visit to the UAE last month, the central bank governor said.

"There were discussions between the UAE and Lebanon in reference to the proposed projects during the UAE - Lebanon Investment Conference, which took place back in October," Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori said.

The Central Bank of the UAE is not examining any potential financial support to Lebanon, the banking regulator said clarifying earlier comments attributed to Mr Al Mansoori.

Mr Al Hariri, who visited the Emirates last month along with a delegation, said the UAE promised investments and financial aid to his deeply indebted country. Mr Hariri resigned because of popular protests that have rocked the country since October 17.

Lebanon has long suffered from large fiscal deficits, which have pushed public debt to $86.3 billion (Dh316.96bn) equivalent to 150 per cent of its gross domestic product. It is now forecast to increase to 155 per cent of GDP by the end of 2019. Large current account deficits have pushed external debt close to 190 per cent of GDP, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The Washington-based lender has not received a formal request for an aid package to help it overcome its economic crisis, but the IMF said last month it would review such a proposal if it is made by the country’s authorities.