Economy Minister Alain Hakim speaks during a ceremony in Baabda, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon's economy will grow by no more than 2 or 2.5 percent next year if it does not resolve its political problems as it struggles to cope with the fallout from the war in neighouring Syria, the economy minister said.Economy and Trade Minister Alain Hakim said the country needed $2.5 billion to start addressing the economic impact of the Syrian refugees, whose presence has strained infrastructure and led to increased competition for jobs.Lebanon's finance minister said this week that the country had had little response after presenting the United Nations with a paper at the end of 2013 estimating that refugees would cost the economy $7.6 billion.Hakim, however, said remittances from Lebanese migrants into the country had increased over 2013, helping the economy withstand some of the impact.
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