Launching Business Year’s publication on Lebanese economy under patronage of Hakim

APRIL 15, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) The Business Year’s third annual publication on the Lebanese economy has been launched Wednesday under the patronage of Economy and Trade Minister Alain Hakim at Le Grey hotel in Beirut.

The following is Hakim’s speech during the event:

It gives me great pleasure to be here today at the launching of the Business Year’s third annual publication on the Lebanese economy.

Since 2011, economic indicators have been observing a weakening in their results due to the massive influx of Syrian refugees that has led to contractions in investment and consumption trends.

In spite of all that the Lebanese economy has passed through during this period, it was able to record positive rates of growth, ranging between 1 and 1.5%. It is also expected to grow by 2.5% in 2015 as forecasted by the IMF.

This in fact strengthens our belief in Lebanon’s capabilities and resiliency and pushes us towards working harder to improve the business and economic environment in order to re-attract investors and re-assure consumers.

Yes… Investment and Consumption are the pillars that we need to revive!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lebanon is capable of attracting investments as its strategic location makes it a regional and international business hub with global market access in addition to its workforce representing a unique asset with its educated multilingual and multi skilled human resources.

However, there would be no investments without a stable political and security situation which will be established first and most importantly by the election of the President of the Republic!

Under these conditions, it is necessary that we take measures aiming at boosting economic growth and enhancing the business environment.

From this standpoint, the following economic and political actions fall under this vision:

– First, to improve public sector performance by activating the public institutions’ work and by developing and implementing a set of administrative and operational reforms that would curb corruption.

– Second, to encourage investment by providing a favorable environment and facilitating administrative transactions and procedures.

This is in addition to activating economic diplomacy to promote Lebanon as a country with attractive investment, touristic and geographical elements and thus finding new markets for Lebanese exports.

– Third, to stimulate job creation, especially in promising and innovative sectors as well as develop and review educational programs to be aligned with the job market, particularly with the discovery of the oil wealth that requires high skills.

– Fourth, to improve infrastructure by enhancing the partnership between the public and private sectors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We need to expedite these proposed steps in order to stimulate the economic cycle, enhance growth and create job opportunities.

Opportunities in Lebanon are many and we should make use of them!

The Business Year Magazine has always been a contributor in highlighting the importance of the economic challenges and opportunities at this level and it constitutes a platform of connection with the business world by keeping the reader up-to-date with the business and industry insights all over the globe.

I want to thank the Business Year Magazine once again for this event and we are looking forward to the future publications.