President Michel Sleiman speaks during the launch of the Lebanese Economic Forum on Saturday March 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanese President Michel Sleiman highlighted Saturday the need to privatize some sectors of the Lebanese economy to improve productivity and reduce the burden on citizens by minimizing the costs of services.Ministers of key sectors, government officials, business and investment leaders, and experts from Lebanon, Arab and neighboring countries gathered to discuss the existing and upcoming challenges and prospects facing the economy and measures that needed to be adopted in the coming period.Sleiman believes the main tool to tackle the economy's weakness is in preparing solid visionary budgets that would lead to several sectors-based policies complementary to the fiscal system and the expenditure structure."It is true that there were some negative indicators but what is also true is that Lebanon was able to achieve many positive results on which we can build such as the increase in FDIs by 8 percent in 2012 and the surge in exports by 2.6 percent in 2013 in addition to a hike in bank deposits by 5 percent and 11 percent in Lebanese pound and US dollars respectively".For his part, Francois Bassil, president of the Association of Banks, highlighted the critical economic situation prevailing in Lebanon saying that the difficulties facing the country were rooted in three main issues.
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