For a very long time, the northern part of Lebanon was marginalized from economic activity and investment. Indicators on poverty, economy, and development were always ranked lowest in the north of Lebanon. So, in 2007, the concept for the TSEZ started to be discussed in terms of how to foster economic momentum in Tripoli that would guarantee sustainable growth for that part of the country as a whole. By 2009 the entire legal framework was put in place but the decision to appoint a board of directors was delayed.
We started the feasibility process with $1.5 million in funding from USAID and this was a comprehensive and complex study, yet relevant in shedding light on what we could do with the project. The feasibility study assessed three different locations for the TSEZ, as well as the market assessment, the demand forecasting, the development of the financial and operational models, the implementation plan, and the identification of the sectors. Finally, in 2015, the Council of Ministers appointed a board of directors, and we are now preparing to set the TSEZ in motion.