Khalil affirmed the importance of separating the financial and banking sector from the current political discourse.
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Amid a tense political climate, the Lebanese franchise industry is perhaps one of few that continues to compete well in the country's stagnant economy. The launch of the sixth annual BIFEX exhibition, which is organized by the Lebanese Franchise Association, is further testament to the important role franchises still play in the economy, which has endured despite the political unrest, a presidential vacuum and – most recently – the possible economic implications that U.S. bank sanctions against Hezbollah might incur. Arbid said the LFA has made considerable progress since its inception 10 years ago when Lebanon was still shaking off the ruins of the 2006 war. He added that in a decade, LFA has developed and expanded an industry that few locals had dealt in before. According to Arbid, the franchise industry represents 4 percent of GDP and has created about 99,000 jobs in Lebanon. Currently there are 1,200 franchises operating in Lebanon of which roughly half are Lebanese and exporting their concepts to more than 40 countries in the world.
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