The Dubai & Northern Emirates Alumni Chapter at the Lebanese American University (LAU) held its annual dinner that was specially dedicated for honoring Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh who came from Beirut especially for the occasion confirming that despite the political calamity, the Central Bank is ready and capable of facing any crisis and this has become a fundamental.
The reception that took place at “Al Bustan Rotana” was attended by more than 500 invitees from the Lebanese diaspora and witnessed the participation of the Lebanese General Consul Sami Nmeir, LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra and LAU Officials in addition to BDL First Vice-Governor Dr. Raed H. Charafeddine and Chairman of Bank of Beirut and Vice-Chairman of the board of Trustees at LAU Mr. Salim Sfeir.
Chapter’s President Mr. Saade El Zein welcomed everyone focusing that the noble cause of this yearly gathering is education, and the distinctive thing this year is honoring a special public figure who gave a lot for his country’ stability.
In his turn, Dr. Jabbra thanked the United Arab Emirates and especially the emirate of Dubai for all the opportunities it is providing to the Lebanese to excel, to build their future and to participate in the development of the UAE, thanking as well the Alumni Chapter.
Jabbra spoke about LAU’s response to the society’s needs confirming to everyone that next September will witness the inauguration of LAU’s third campus in Manhattan – New York.
Mr. Sfeir then delivered a speech praising the Governor for his wisdom in everything he did since his appointment, addressing at the same time his compatriots and thanking them for all they are doing in the name of Lebanon.
For his part, Governor Salameh spoke saying that the world economy is still witnessing the repercussions of the 2008 crisis talking about the causes of the damage in the worldwide banking sector, the European economic crisis and its effects on the general confidence, and about the American economy and how nothing is clear in dealing with the deficit and the debt.
Salameh then spoke about the situation in Lebanon highlighting that the main focus was to create the trust in the Lebanese monetary system and the Lebanese banks, the thing that reproduced a general stability, comparing the huge difference between the year 1992 where the bank deposits were equal to USD 6.6 billion and the year 2012 where it became equal to USD 127.2 billion, highlighting on the difference between both years in terms of the Central Banks assets of foreign currencies, the gold commodity, Central Bank’s budget, the local GDP, the inflation, the balance of payments, the public debt, as well as the annual deficiency.
Salameh concluded that despite the entire crisis in the region, the Lebanese Central Bank took all the measures that will lead to stability and that the position of the Lebanese banks is good, assuring that “outside the framework of the oil system”, the sector and the reserve are the best and no one can ask us to change our monetary policy.
Finally, the amount of approximately USD half a million was collected from some of the invitees in order to fund needy and deserving students who are looking forward to pursue their higher education at LAU.