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Launch of SMEs Lebanese Forum


The minister of trade, Raed Khury, announced yesterday the imminent launch on July 11 of the Lebanese Forum for Small and Medium Enterprises under the headline, ‘Your needs are our challenges’. The statement was made during a press conference attended by owners/managers of SMEs, the ministries of tourism, energy, industry, agriculture and communications, and Banque Du Liban which will be represented by its governor. During the conference, Khury described the country’s economy as ailing, pointing to only 1 to 2% in economic growth, besides the unemployment rate which exceeded 25%, and an economic cycle that did not achieve any positive outcomes. Khury pressed the need to focus on SMEs that account for nearly 95% of the companies operating in Lebanon and which face fierce competition, stressing the prominence of the sector which employs the biggest number of Lebanese that stay steadfast in their land and in their villages. The forum, Khury disclosed, is expected to issue feasible recommendations, conclude a cooperation agreement with the World Bank to stimulate creation of jobs, develop a plan to facilitate customs procedures and a draft law to motivate active presence of SMEs in international exhibitions. Finally, the minister of economy and trade revealed that the conference is fully supported by the president of the republic and the prime minister, hoping it will be the start of an economic renaissance, and surprisingly predicting an increase in GDP from USD 52 billion to USD 100 billion during the next 7 years (!). (Al Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, July 6, 2017)

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