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Programmes worth hundreds of million USD to support small and medium enterprises in Lebanon


The Minister of Economy and Trade Alain Hakim, represented by the Ministry’s head of external relations, Rafif Berro, inaugurated yesterday the Conference for the employment promotional campaign “Euro Business Opportunities” in Beirut. Emmanuel Nutary, the director of ANIMA Investment Network kicked off the event with a speech highlighting the projects which are of interest to the European Union in a number of countries namely Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia as they provide opportunities for job creation.  These include agriculture, energy, environment and tourism.  The president of Berytech, Marun Chammas, pointed out to the success of the projects undertaken by the Berytech Fund 1 and which benefited more than 15 companies thus creating in turn 60 new employment opportunities in the ICT sector.  He announced the launch of the Berytech Fund 2 which will be operational during the coming two months, adding that the Central Bank has allocated via memorandum 331 a sum of some USD 600 million for emerging companies, and which will be allocated via various investment funds including Berytech.

The EU representative, Marcelo Mura, noted that the EU is supporting innovation and is contributing to the development of small and medium enterprises as well as emerging and expatriates companies which should help improving Euro-Mediterranean relations.  He confirmed that the size of the current project agreements between Lebanon and the EU total some Euros 150 million most of which are invested in the private sector.  Berro reiterated that the Ministry of Industry and Trade gives particular consideration to strengthen small and medium enterprises through the creation of business holders such as Berytech and others.  He added that the government is working on creating a number of systems which would provide incentives and a conducive environment for businesses and ICT especially through developing a related five year strategy.
Source: Al-Safir, Al-Mustaqbal 24 March 2014

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