Business leaders optimistic
as a result of new President
Calls for extraordinary focus on the economy
Leaders of private sector organizations are optimistic again, after the election of a President. They are expecting enhanced stability, more investments, and more projects.
Adnan Kassar, Chairman of the Economic Bodies, said: “The election puts an end to years of paralysis of the productive economic sectors.”
Kassar said that the President’s inaugural speech will have a positive effect on sectors that witnessed a large drop in investments, high unemployment, and closures. He said that people hope that the new President will begin his tenure with real reform, giving special attention and extraordinary efforts to the economy.
“We expect a positive impact on the economy and the banking sector, if the political and security situation continue to improve,” said Makram Sader, Secretary General of the Association of Banks (ABL). “The impact will take some time to materialize,” he said.
Sader also said that the growth rate of bank deposits will go up, driven by a higher economic growth. “An improvement in economic growth will also encourage businesspeople to invest more and borrow more,” he said.
Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, said: “We will hopefully have a cabinet of technocrats.”
He said that only a technocrat government will be able to manage the economic issues and push growth in GDP. “Restoring the relations with the Gulf should be the Government’s priority, as well as enacting several laws especially the ones related to exploring oil and gas,” he said.
“We are optimistic about this new era. We expect that this move will render the economy one of the most active in the region,” said Toufic Dabbousi, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and North.
“We believe that with time and because of political stability, the country will turn into a platform for services in Syria and Iraq,” he said.
Dabbousi said that this will attract investments into sectors that stimulate the economy, such as tourism, technology, trade, industry, and agriculture.
“Electing a new president will lead to the highest levels of prosperity,” he said.
Ziad Bekdache, Vice Chairman of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, said: “This step will create stability, which will activate the market and the economy.”
“The very idea that we have elected a President means that the country’s reputation will be embellished both internally and externally,” said Mohamad Saleh, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Saida and South.
He said this will stimulate a positive environment that will generate more investments.
Charles Arbid, Chairman of the Lebanese Franchise Association, said that he was interested by two points that the President mentioned in his inauguration speech: The need for decentralization on the developmental level and public private partnership.
“We hope that this new era will turn the economy into a top priority and see the establishment of new socioeconomic policies,” he said.
Arbid also said that the election was needed to reverse all the economic indicators, as well as modern economic planning that matches the needs of all economic sectors.
International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG) comprising the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and Ambassadors of the Arab League, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, said in a statement: “Further international support for Lebanon will be facilitated by the reactivation of State institutions.”
Reported by Rania Ghanem, Yassmine Alieh, and Shikralla Nakhoul
Date Posted: Oct 31, 2016