HALFA (Hommes D Affaires Libanais De France) organized an economic conference with Economist Nassib Ghobril

Nassib Ghobril, Chief Economist at the Byblos Bank Group during a Conference organized in Renaissance Le Park Trocadero Hotel In Paris  by HALFA (Hommes D Affaires Libanais De France) a WLCU Branch in France , indicated  that economic activity in Lebanon is largely based on the confidence factor, and has been severely affected as a result of the constinuous decline in the level of consumer confidence and investor sentiment in the country since 2011 from recurring political and securtiy shocks.

He noted that the impact of the Syrian conflict on the Lebanese economy could have been reduced if the well-known vulnerabilites in the economy and in public finances were addressed and if reforms were implemented during the period of political and securtiy stability from mid-2008 to September 2010.  Mr. Ghobril stressed that, despite the lost opportunities and the economic costs since 2011, the Lebanese economy has not suffered even more due to the contribution of the Diaspora to the economy. He noted that expatriates’ remittances to Lebanon average $7.6 billion annually, which is equivalent to 19% of GDP and to $1,800 per capita, which are among the highest such ratios in developing economies.

 He added that Lebanese expatraites are the largest spenders among visitors, are the main source of demand in the real estate market, are a key source of deposits and of demand for credit at Lebanese banks, are the main source of foreign direct investment in the coutnry, and play a dynamic role in the development of their villages and towns through indivdual intiatives. But Mr. Ghobril warned that Lebanese authorities and the political class cannot take for granted the contributon of the Lebanese Diapsora to the Lebanese economy, and should devise a long-term concrete strategy to maintain the links not only with the 1.6 million expatriates who still have links with the homeland, but also with the third and fourth generation emigrants who no longer are connected to Lebanon.
 He warned that the political class cannot expect the Diaspora to expand its involvement in Lebanon, without allowing the expatriates to be full partners in the political and economic decision-making in the country.        

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