Minister Khoury meets the Economic Journalists AssociationRead in Arabic
Minister Khoury during a meeting with the Economic Journalists Association: “The Media plays a vital role in keeping up with our economic plan and broadcasting the economic culture”
Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury considered that Lebanon economic problem consists in the absence of the economic culture across the majority of the population. Therefore, he stressed on the vital role of the media in this concern and tackled the issue of lacking a comprehensive and permanent economic plan or vision. He also pointed out that the current plan being elaborated shall be approved by all political parties in order to be considered a sustainable plan for the coming period that determine the economic identity of Lebanon.
Minister of Economy and Trade Raed Khoury made this announcement after receiving the administrative body of the Economic Journalists Association headed by the Secretary and colleague Omar Natour who gave an overview of the Association and its activities. Moreover, Minister Khoury explained extensively the economic situation within the absence of Lebanon’ economic identity and any template appropriate to Lebanon’ nature. He said: “If we considered today the debt to GDP ratio, we will find that we are the World third highest ratio. Nowadays, the current deficit reaches 8 billion dollars so the growth needs to increase by 13 percent, which is impossible under these circumstances. That is why we aim to attain a growth of 7 or 8 percent”.
Furthermore, Minister Khoury pointed out to the huge amount of the lebanese diaspora human capital; therefore, it may be possible to attract some of these investments into Lebanon in case we succeeded to ensure the economic environment, adequate infrastructure, incentive legislations and tax protection, such as the administrative formalities in addition to determine the sectors that are able to grow and develop namely, the telecommunications and health services sectors, etc.
As an answer to a question about the budget, whether it will be approved before or after the parliamentary elections in addition to its impact on both Rome and Paris donors conferences, Minister Khoury made it clear that the Government can meet the budget preparation and approval before the constitutional deadlines; pending its approval in the Parliament and the Committee of Finance and Budget. In his opinion, the 2018 budget should not be approved as had been the case with 2017 budget; on the contrary, efforts should be exerted to approve a budget that encompasses growth incentive economic reforms, stressing on the importance of the 2017 approval especially that no budgets were approved for many years.
As for the customs legislation, Minister Khoury assured that “the customs code was rejected having found legal errors; noting that we are aware of the importance of the national industry protection but we are waiting for the law to be corrected”.
Concerning the pressures on the lebanese banking sector, Minister Khoury stressed that: “these pressures are political without any doubt; and we are doing our best to neutralize Lebanon from all the regional conflicts”.
The Association delegation included in addition to the Secretary Omar Natour the following members: Vice President Adnan Hamdan, Treasurer Pierre Saad, Head of the Media Committee Kawthar Hanbouri, Rola Rached, Accountant Dana Halawi in addition to Rita Chamoun and Simon Chehade.
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