Area Size: 1,433 Km2 Population: 519,607 (2016) Districts: West Bekaa, Rashaya, Zahleh Administrative Center: Zahleh Number of municipalities: 87 Number of Projects that benefited from IDAL’s incentives: 5 Unemployment rate: 6% (2011)
LOCATION AND TOPOGRAPHY:
The governorate has an altitude ranging between 800 to 1100 meters above sea level. It is covered in main agricultural areas and natural areas with few mixed rural areas. Lying on a plain between two mountain ranges, Mount Lebanon to the west and the AntiLebanon to the east, the Bekaa has an overall Mediterranean climate with a more arid tendency in the north. It is crossed by two rivers journeying in the opposite direction, the Orontes (Al Asi) to the north and the Litani to the south which includes Lebanon’s largest dam, the Qaraoun river, with a capacity of 220 million cubic meters of water.
MAIN ECONOMIC INDICATORS:
The labor force is mainly concentrated in the manufacturing (43%) and the services (30%) sectors.
Services and manufacturing sectors are contributing to more than 75% to the region’s gross value added.
1- Access to Resources:
The biggest agricultural area in Lebanon accounting for 49% of total used agricultural areas (with Baalback El Hermel).
The biggest producer of cereals, pulses and vegetables as well as grapes.
The main livestock production area with 38% of sheep, 29% of goats and 26% of cattle.
Zahle district has the highest share of industrial firms accounted for 82% of total factories in the governorate.
The highest share of packaging and cold storage houses.
The second highest share of industrial companies with 41% of industrial firms operating in the food and beverages sector.
The governorate includes Lebanon’s largest wetland in Ammiq.
2- Access to Markets:
A large industrial zone is being established in Zahle district.
Nearest location to the Masnaa Border Crossing, a major trade point with Syria.
The largest exporter of fruits and vegetables in Lebanon with the majority being exported to GCC.
Canned Items and potato chips are the most exported agro-food products.
Access to international and regional markets through CMA CGM, a dry port in Taanayel.
3- Access to Human Capital
18% of local labor force are engaged in craft and related trade activities.
10 universities branches are serving the area along with 5,524 registered students in the Lebanese University.
The region is home to 22% oftotal public technical schools and 17% of total students.
4- Access to Finance
The second highest share of financial guaranteed loans issued by Kafalat.
The wine production in Bekaa is a flourishing industry that has an international reputation and a strong local network. Lebanon’s wine producers are reunited under the “Union Vinicole du Liban” (UVL), the official association of wine producers in Lebanon.
The largest wine producer accounting for 44% of total grape production
More than 7 wineries are located in Bekaa
33% of wine producers are concentrated in Zahle
Increase ofwine exports at a CAGR of 11% during the 2015-2017 period
Local consumption estimated at 6 million wine bottles yearly of which 2 million are imported
The main dairy factories in Lebanon with its skilled labor force are located in Bekaa. Thus, the region has the capacity to improve its dairy sector to be recognized as a regional dairy cluster with sizeable well-established companies.
Extensive dairy farms covering 44% of total farming land
The largest share of livestock in Lebanon with 26% of sheep and 38% of cattle