Sfeir urges measures to stimulate economy

Sfeir: Make the economy a cornerstone.

BEIRUT: A leading Lebanese banker called Friday for a series of measures to restore the confidence of investors in Lebanon.

Salim Sfeir, the chairman of Bank of Beirut, told participants in the second Lebanon Economic Forum that the authorities must hammer out a modern tax plan, offering incentives to the economy by beefing up the Beirut bourse, providing job opportunities to youth, encouraging investors to invest in the country and reducing taxes on productive investments.

Sfeir said more attention should be paid to rural areas and improving development projects.

“I am not asking politicians to abandon their policies, but I am urging them to make the economy an important cornerstone of their practices and to benefit from the experiences of other countries which had similar experiences,” he added.

Sfeir said that 32,608 students had graduated from universities this year, but most of them left Lebanon in search of jobs.

“We need to pay more attention to the needs of our youth and to make them a considerable force to buttress the economy,” he said.

Sfeir praised the efforts of the financial authorities and most notably the Central Bank, which assisted in the subsidized loan programs that helped stimulate tourism, industry, agriculture and technology.

The Central Bank and state-owned Kafalat have launched several soft loan programs to allow small and medium entrepreneurs to promote their businesses.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 01, 2012, on page 4.




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