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Arab forum in Beirut on small and medium enterprises and their role in social development


The Union of Arab Banks sponsored by the Minister of Economy and Trade, Alan Hakim, is holding an Arab forum for bankers entitled “Small and Medium Enterprises: The road to economic development and social justice” on the 21st and 23rd of August.
The forum is the result of collaboration between the Union and Banque du Liban, General Union of Chambers of Commerce Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, World Union of Arab Bankers, Investment Development Authority of Lebanon IDAL, and the Arab Union for Small and Medium Enterprises.
The Union of Banks, in a statement released yesterday, stated that this Forum carries a particular importance due to the presence of key public figures and because of the particular issues under discussion. In this context, Minister Hakim told Al Nahar newspaper that small and medium enterprises can play a major role in the reconfiguration of growth and in expanding its impact to all social classes. Minister Hakim stressed that Lebanon should seek to develop this sector as this will lead to a quantum leap for economic growth and for fair distribution of wealth.
The General Secretary of the Union Wissam Fattouh, on the other hand, noted that there is still a significant lack of funding for small and medium enterprises, according to the results of the study carried out in 2011 by the Union of Arab Banks in collaboration with the World Bank. The study covered a sample of 170 Arab banks form 16 Arab countries. Fattouh added that the expansion of small and medium enterprises in the last two years was accompanied by a growing interest from commercial banks to expand their financing of that sector.
Source: Al-Nahar, Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Hayat, Al-Diyar 7 August 2014

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