Hout, Hariri and Salameh attend a conference in Beirut, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri sought to allay the fears of investors and the international community Thursday by assuring them the new government will seek to revitalize the Lebanese economy.This is not the first time Hariri has underlined the importance of addressing the economic and social problems facing the country. But what made it different this time was that Hariri addressed a wide gathering of Lebanese and Arab investors and bankers in the Lebanese capital.Lebanon is working on maintaining the stability of the currency, and the lira is stable in light of high reserves," Salameh said in his opening remarks, as he pointed to positive indicators, such as BDL growth of 2 percent, a growth rate for the lira and dollar of 8 and 4 percent respectively, and a dollarization of deposits at 68 percent at the end of 2017 . He noted that credit rating agencies have kept the same classification for Lebanon. The two-day event comes at a time of increased scrutiny of Lebanon's economic stability, with politicians and the Central Bank working hard to reassure the public as concerns mount over the stability of the national currency and a declining real estate sector.One area of both concern and potential opportunity for Lebanon and the region is the fourth Industrial Revolution, which is changing the world into a society based on high-tech, creating new jobs while making some obsolete. Hariri this week launched the Summer of Innovation, an initiative that aims to develop Lebanon as a high-tech hub.
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