Why Lebanon needs more Arab investment
The absence of Arab tourists and investors is weighing heavily on the Lebanese economy, said Mohammad Choukeir, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Beirut. “We cannot deny the fact that the flow of investments from Gulf countries, and mainly from Saudi Arabia, is very essential to the Lebanese economy,” he said during a meeting held with the Association of Economic Media Representatives Sunday.
Choukeir said Saudis constituted the cornerstone of the Lebanese economy, especially when it came to the tourism and industry sectors.
“The Saudi market is a large recipient of Lebanese industrial products,” he said.
He added that the lack of people from the Gulf visiting Lebanon was impacting the Lebanese economy, including the flow of funds from Lebanese working in the Gulf.
“Over 60 percent of these deposits come from Lebanese working in the region and this is a big loss,” he said.
Choukeir called upon the government to meet in order to solve urgent economic issues. “We are not asking the government to meet [in order to] approve new projects but only to take the necessary measures to save Lebanon from the current critical economic situation,” Choukeir said.
During the meeting, Choukeir also said he had received many complaints from Lebanese industrialists suffering from Syrian competition.
“I am not against foreign investment but all I am asking for is fair competition by foreign factories and for these businesses to obtain permits before entering the Lebanese market,” he said.
He also highlighted the importance of holding the Lebanon Week exhibition in Jeddah, saying the kingdom will witness a great boom in its economy in the coming years due to the huge projects currently under development.
“We have decided to go to the Saudis since they are worried about coming to Lebanon but the political situation cannot separate us,” he said, adding that both the Lebanese and Saudi governments had granted Lebanon the permits to hold the exhibition.
- Understanding the ripple effect: 8 reasons the US economy has slowed down in Q1 of 2015
- Can Bahrian emerge from the oil price plunge 'stronger than ever'?
- Egyptian stocks plummet as Yemen confict deepens
- UAE sweetens flotation regulations to attract more investment
- Replacing Switzerland? Why Lebanon isn't keeping its banking secrecy a secret
- 8-year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night
- Impetus from within: why the Arab World needs a very Arab 'Marshall Plan'
- Lebanese President: Arabs in Dire Need for Solidarity
- Why U.S. investment in Lebanon is on the rise
- Arab Chambers of Commerce to Hold Meeting in Beirut Wednesday