Lebanon’s $251 million IT market ‘below potential’


Business Monitor International (BMI) estimated the size of the Lebanese information technology (IT) sector at around $251 million in 2008, adding that the market’s considerable potential remains constrained by an unstable political outlook and a mixed picture regarding economic policy, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.

It said market performance in 2008 was encouraging, but the sector was still growing well below potential and slower than regional neighbor Jordan. It forecast the IT market to grow at a nominal compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7 percent over the 2007-13 period to reach about $350 million in 2013, although this would depend on progress in political normalization and a continuation of economic recovery.

BMI estimated the overall Lebanese personal computer (PC) market, including notebooks and accessories, at $128 million in 2008, representing a 10 percent growth from 2007, with the number of units sold in the 100,000-120,000 range. It estimated the overall computer hardware market at $160 million in 2008. It noted that this segment was still far from saturated and, despite an uncertain business environment, large firms and government departments are expected to upgrade and replace existing PCs.

BMI estimated the size of the legal software market at just $10 million in 2008 and forecast the segment’s CAGR at 8 percent during 2007-13. It said the domestic software market is expected to grow relatively slowly due to the continuing problems with piracy. It noted, however, that the Lebanese government appears more focused now on copyright protection issues as it tries to improve Lebanon’s chances of entering the World Trade Organization. – The Daily Star


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