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After the oil mirage Lebanon is now banking on private-public partnership


The Minister of Economy and Trade Alan Hakim called yesterday for the enactment of a private-public partnership law as an optimal mechanism to finance and properly manage the infrastructure, motivate economy, create jobs and cuts the general budget’s deficit. And while he stressed that infrastructure projects, particularly in the sectors of electricity, water, renewable energy, roads and environment contribute by 7% to the growth of the economy, Hakim revealed that the plan to implement the above partnership in the electricity sector has been delayed due to political reasons. The minister was speaking during the opening of the ‘Public-Private Partnership Projects Opens Up New Horizons’ conference organized by the Higher Council for Privatisation (HCP) and the Alumni Caucus of the French HEC University for Graduate Business Studies at the Higher Institute of Business (ESA) in Beirut. On the occasion, HCP general director Ziad Hayek considered the said partnership as the headline for the recovery of the national economy pointing out that “due to the size and value of the huge investments involved, the partnership scheme will undoubtedly lead to the massive creation of jobs that are much needed to counter the persistent unemployment crisis.”  Hayek estimated that the proposed projects could be expected to secure over 200 thousand new jobs over a period of 5 years, including 80 thousands jobs for fresh graduates. Similarly, the head of the World Bank’s Public-Private Partnerships, Lawrance Carter, urged the Lebanese Government to speed up the approval of necessary legislations that will allow the implementation of new investment initiatives in partnership between the two sectors, and pledged the support of his organisation to energy and power projects. Carter speech came during a luncheon held in his honor in Beirut, where he met a number of heads of parliamentary committees and their members, at the eve of the conference on private-public partnership. (As Safir, An Nahar, Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, February 17, 2016)


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