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Higher Diaspora Council
World Wide Lebanese 2011 concludes its work, presents Diaspora Council
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July 22, 2011- The ‘Higher Diaspora Council’ was unveiled Thursday, after World Wide Lebanese 2011, a conference for Lebanese expatriates, concluded its sessions.

The council was announced by Gayath Rifai, President of EVENTZ Company, organizers of the conference. Rifai said the Higher Diaspora Council aims at boosting ties between emigrants and their home country. He said the council’s founding committee is open to all expatriates wishing to join. Regulatory meetings will be held to set the council’s rules of procedure and memorandum.

Worldwide Lebanese 2011 was launched on July 20 at the Four Seasons hotel in Beirut under the patronage of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

In an address at the opening session, Audi Bank Chairman and General Manager, Saad El Azhari, said the size of remittances transferred by expatriates for 2010 amounted to $8.4 billion, accounting for around 21 percent of GDP. According to Azhari, the deposits of non-residents (expatriates and foreigners) have reached $19.5 billion, while loans extended to nonresidents were at $5.5 billion.

Speaking at the conference, Former Minister of Finance, Raya El Hassan, said a successful policy towards expatriates could contribute to a rise in the size of Foreign Direct Investments and in that of remittances, as well as an increase in the size of exports.

President of the Federation of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Mohammad Choucair, called for boosting coordination between local productive sectors and economic bodies, and the Lebanese Diaspora. Choucair said the current circumstances are apposite to promote investment opportunities in the country.
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Date Posted: Jul 22, 2011