PM Hariri: Lebanon Sets ‘Roadmap’ to Raise Growth Rates, Diversify Resources

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (1st L) addresses the opening ceremony of the 26th Arab Economic Forum in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 12, 2018. Arab analysts hailed the cooperation between China and the Arab world, and expected more projects and investments under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative here on the sidelines of the 26th Arab Economic Forum. (Xinhua/Li Liangyong)
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (1st L) addresses the opening ceremony of the 26th Arab Economic Forum in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 12, 2018. Arab analysts hailed the cooperation between China and the Arab world, and expected more projects and investments under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative here on the sidelines of the 26th Arab Economic Forum. (Xinhua/Li Liangyong)

Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said that Lebanon “has prepared a clear roadmap to raise growth rates, diversify its resources and ensure its sustainability.”

Hariri inaugurated on Thursday the 26th session of the Arab Economic Forum, attended by some 500 leading figures from 20 countries, including finance ministers and governors of central banks and corporate leaders and investors from the Arab world, Europe and Africa.

The forum is organized by the Economy and Business Group in partnership with the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL), the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Association of Banks in Lebanon and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in cooperation with Lebanese and Arab economic entities.

“We are all aware of the difficulties facing the region and the crises confronting many Arab countries due to the absence of security and political stability, the repercussions of wars and conflicts on our economic and social conditions, the results of the displacement of millions of Syrian brothers to neighboring countries, the decrease of tourism and the negative effects of all this on the growth rates and the ability to attract investments,” Hariri said.

He noted that the region needed around 27 million new employment opportunities in the next five years.

“The first challenge for the Arab countries lies in raising growth rates. The second challenge is to make it a sustainable growth that includes all sectors of society, especially women and youth. This means unleashing an indispensable vitality in the economic cycle of our Arab countries,” the prime minister-designate said.

As for the third challenge, he emphasized the diversification of growth resources, which did not apply to oil producing countries only but also to countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and other Arab countries.

“The success in diversifying the sources of growth requires us to change our working methods as governments and public institutions. It also requires the development of our legislations and administrative and legal procedures to fit the needs of modern economy and the necessities of growth. All this while maintaining macroeconomic stability because we all know that any financial and monetary destabilization in our countries will have great economic and social repercussions,” according to Hariri.

He noted in this regard that the Lebanese government has prepared a clear road map to raise growth rates, diversify the country’s sources and ensure its sustainability, adding that the plan was presented at the CEDRE Conference.

ASHARQ AL  AWSAT