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My publications
  • Regards sur la France Robert Fadel and Karim Emile Bitar, Seuil, 2007.
    A critical and at the same time challenging appraisal, Regards Sur la France, co-written by two former French-Lebanese students of the ENA, Robert Fadel and Karim Emile Bitar, is published by Seuil.

    While writing the book, which was published in 2007 during the French presidential campaign, Robert Fadel and Karim Emile Bitar conducted interviews and gathered analysis from thirty personalities from different backgrounds and very different countries

    This portrait of France, drawn up by thirty experts, knocks the received wisdom that France is a country unable to renew its bases and plagued by an existential crisis that creates doubts about its values and place in the world, on its head.

    On the contrary, for Robert Fadel and Karim Emile Bitar, France is not in decline. French society is not bogged down, and its influence continues to be remarkable. As Robert Fadel notes in his article on French competitiveness: "France has been able to take advantage of some of its own 'excesses' (i.e. a comparatively inflated State and the weight Paris enjoys in a heavily centralised system) to build itself an enviable position in the world"

    Robert Fadel reminds us that many French companies count amongst the world's largest and that the country is remarkably integrated in the global economy.

    The observations raised in this book are by no means limited to the electoral period. By questioning the democratic, cultural, social and economic foundations of France, Robert Fadel and Karim Emile Bitar raise the question of how we should all live together, which is currently a burning issue worldwide.

    The book has received very positive press coverage. It has been hailed as "a life-saving work", a "stimulating" meditation and as an "incisive portrait of the Hexagon."

    Amongst the thinkers and experts invited to address the French Question, we note the presence of personalities as highly varied as the conductor Daniel Barenboim, the former CEO of Gucci, Domenico de Sole, economists like Jeffrey Sachs (Harvard) and Helene Rey (Princeton), the former Czech head of state Vaclav Havel and Judith Lazar, sociologist at the University of Paris.

    Four Arab personalities also contributed to the writing of the collection: the Palestinian philosopher Edward Said, who died a few weeks after his interview, deals with the role of French intellectuals, the economist and former Lebanese Minister George Corm questions the position of "French-style" secularism, the former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali addresses the "French project in the world of tomorrow" and the academic Mohammed Arkoun questions the relationship between France and Islam.
  • Lebanon's Five Year Development Plan, Groupe Monitor, septembre 2000.

    In 2000, working at the time with the American consulting firm Monitor, Robert Fadel researched and wrote an economic development plan to enhance growth in Lebanon. Called Lebanon's Five Year Development Plan it was carried out at the request of Lebanon's Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR).

    This report called for the implementation of a plan to improve the competitiveness of Lebanese businesses and defined the steps that needed to be taken in the short and medium term to ensure the lasting development of businesses across the country.

    To that end, Robert Fadel recommended:

    - The continued reform of the public administration to remove the main barriers to entrepreneurship (reducing bureaucracy, taxes ...)

    - The improvement of Lebanon's competitive environment with easier access to financing and regional markets and the improvement of the technological infrastructure amongst the priorities.

    - The establishment of a joint public-private development programme to develop strategies for sectors most promising in terms of growth and development..
  • Promoting New Industries in Lebanon, Groupe Monitor, 2001
    In his role as business expert and consultant at the American consulting firm Monitor, Robert Fadel authored a study called Promoting New Industries in Lebanon, which was published in 2001. The report, commissioned by Lebanon's Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), took stock of local industries, identifying opportunities for development and proposed a medium term development strategy.

    Among its recommendations, Promoting New Industries in Lebanon proposed that the country shift its focus from problems caused by its high labour costs, which prevent Lebanon from competing with countries of industrial mass production such as Turkey, but to instead promote sectors where the skills of Lebanon's workforce were an asset.
    This is particularly the case for the communications and marketing sectors, as well as for new communication technologies, which – were they focussed on the need to create Arabic content - could encourage the emergence of structured fields.

    The report also recommended that Lebanon not rely solely on private initiatives to revitalize local industry. It stressed the need for an "enabling environment", which public policy plays a vital role in creating, not least by instituting legal conditions attractive to foreign investment.