Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during Al Iktissad Wal Aamal conference in Beirut, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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at donor conference: HaririWith his eyes set on the donor conference in April, Prime Minister Saad Hariri made it clear to hundreds of investors that crucial reforms and a bigger role of the private sector are key elements to secure badly needed funds for infrastructure projects in Lebanon.Lebanon is fully aware that the cash will not be made available if the government did not take important steps before the conference such as the approval of the 2018 draft budget, reducing unnecessary spending in public departments and reforms in some key sectors, like the electricity.French inter-ministerial delegate for the Mediterranean Pierre Duquesne, who is in charge of the CEDRE Conference preparations, said at the opening of Tuesday's event that there were several reforms the Lebanese government could implement before the conference as "signs of good will".The source added that besides the budget, it is only "politics" that is blocking progress on these reforms.Duquesne said more-difficult-to-achieve reforms, such as reducing the deficit, fighting corruption and overhauling the electricity sector, would not be anticipated until after the May 6 elections.
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