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Roadmap to develop SMEs and for greater employment

12-7-2017

The minister of economy and trade, Raed Khury, inaugurated yesterday from BIEL the Lebanese Forum for Small and Medium Enterprises entitled ‘your needs are our challenges’ aimed at achieving an economy of scale and greater employment prospects as well as enhancing Lebanon’s leading role in the region. Khury spoke of new measures that would contribute to bolstering and developing the capacities of SMEs, highlighting the need to plan a clear-cut and political-free economic strategy that identifies the country’s economic role and introduces a series of dynamic undertakings inspiring economic growth and creating jobs. For his part, the president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Mohamad Shucair, said the Forum has helped to develop a roadmap that addresses dilemmas faced by SMEs and proposes ways to activate their performance. A disadvantageous factor that impedes SMEs businesses, Choucair noted, is the lack of a favorable environment, a declining trust on part of customers and a skyrocketing operational cost (in taxes, insurance and cost of services…), in addition to financing, competition and product marketing related challenges. Banque Du Liban governor, Riad Salameh, said SMEs play a crucial role in national economy as the largest generator of jobs. “We extended subsidized loans for some 19 years to sustain our institutions going through serious but circumstantial financial crisis,” Salameh noted. Likewise, the minister of industry, Hussein Haj Hassan, mentioned that the majority of SMEs work in the IT, industry, commerce and agriculture sectors. These enterprises, he stated, are the dynamo and stimulus of domestic economy in terms of their open employment potential, however, he added, they are faced with considerable difficulties in terms of competition and securing marketing outlets. (Al Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, An Nahar, July 12, 2017)

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