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IFC Helps Expedite Commercial Justice in Lebanon, Supporting Small Businesses

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa

Phone: +(202) 2461-4230


Beirut, Lebanon, December 12, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is co-hosting a conference that will help Lebanese businesses settle their business disputes quickly and effectively, supporting the country’s private sector and boosting economic growth.

The conference, held in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Justice, will bring together local and international mediation experts along with representatives from the government and the private sector to discuss the role of mediation in helping businesses resolve disputes quickly out of court.

“Our partnership with IFC will help us facilitate access to justice for all citizens,” says Ashraf Rifi, Lebanon’s Minister of Justice. “Enactment of the mediation law helps reduce financial burdens on the private sector and the disputes backlog before the courts, thus increasing confidence in our judicial system”.

Lengthy court procedures often cost business owners more than the amount in dispute. According to the 2015 Doing Business report, solving business dispute in courts takes, in Lebanon, an average of 721 days and 37 procedures, and costs about 31 percent of the claim. Mediation is a practical solution for fast and cost-effective commercial dispute resolution.

“Contract enforcement is a major challenge in MENA countries and expediting justice is key for private sector growth, supporting economic development and attracting investments,” says Luke Haggarty, Head of IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa.  “Mediation can have a tremendous economic impact on development as it offers quicker access to justice and fosters a more reliable legal system”.

The conference marks the end of a three-year initiative aimed at institutionalizing commercial mediation in Lebanon, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut, and Mount Lebanon, the Tripoli Bar Association and universities.

The project is supported by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Cooperation and the European Union, IFC development partners.  It is also part of IFC’s wider strategy in partnership with Lebanon’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers that aims at improving the country’s investment climate, supporting small and medium enterprises, and creating jobs.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit

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