The EDL building in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The parliamentary elections are over, but the economic challenges facing Lebanon are still there waiting for the new government to handle them.With public debt surpassing the $80 billion mark (around 150 percent of GDP), there's a question of sustainability of Lebanon's fiscal situation.Following this baseline scenario, the Lebanese GDP growth rate stood at 1 percent in 2016 and government debt-to-GDP ratio at 151 percent, which are expected to increase to 2.9 percent and 178 percent, respectively, in 2023 .In detail, around 50 percent of the public debt is held by the Central Bank, while the gross fixed capital formation of the public sector represents only 1 percent of GDP as opposed to 20 percent of GDP for the private GFCF.Aside from the power crisis, boosting production and improving the investment climate remains fundamental to overcoming the existing and upcoming economic challenges in Lebanon.In fact, the country's economic issues are not restricted to the fiscal situation, but also extend to the external sector and the deteriorating investment climate that are also holding back economic prosperity. Therefore, Gemayel urges the new government to adopt a comprehensive new economic vision over the next four years.
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