In the framework of the EU-OECD joint Programme on Promoting the Investment in the Mediterranean, the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) along with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organized a regional conference on “Promoting Business Linkages in Global Value Chains: Policies and Tools” that was attended by governmental representatives as well as investment and development officials from Mediterranean countries.
In the opening session, IDAL’s Chairman, Engineer Nabil Itani, stated that this conference comes at a time when Lebanon is embarking on a major reform process in an attempt to address the main challenges facing its economy. In this context, he hoped that the new economic vision puts Lebanon back on the track of prosperity and supports IDAL in attracting further investments. He announced that, despite the local and regional circumstances, Lebanon was able to show a good performance of 8% in attracting FDI inflows to the MENA region between 2012 and 2016. He explained that “this can be mainly attributed to the investments of Lebanese diaspora and their confidence in the Lebanese economy as well as the recent government policies geared towards the development and support of the productive sectors such as new technologies and the start-up ecosystem.”
Engineer Itani also emphasized the generous support of the international community to stabilize Lebanon combined with the unbreakable will of the Lebanese community facing the mounting challenges. Today this seminar in partnership with the European Union and the OECD is a major evidence of this continuous support to the Government of Lebanon to increase its capacity to attract quality investment that will ultimately help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
He highlighted that this conference aims at learning from the experience and vision of multinationals’ representatives how to establish business linkages with local companies and participate in global value chains.
“The promotion of business linkages is crucial in maintaining competitiveness against globalization. This conference will provide us with the necessary tools to improve such linkages, and therefore, serve the goals of our local economic development”, he added.
For his part, the Head of the MENA-OECD Governance programme, Carlos Conde, clarified that the expected growth level in the region during 2018-2019 will enhance the margin of action, through the implementation of economic structural reforms, reducing deficit, fostering competitiveness and boosting investments in order to create job opportunities and achieve growth. He underlined that such reforms could focus on the advantages that the region holds, particularly its geographical location that serves as a hub between Europe and Africa, its large markets, including Asian markets, its young and educated population, and its competitive edge in many sectors. Such advantages provide the countries in the region with a great opportunity to participate in global value chains.”
Conde confirmed that OECD strives, through the EU-OECD joint Programme on Promoting the Investment in the Mediterranean, to introduce reforms, establish linkages and support governments in the region, in an endeavor to promote comprehensive investment; thus, achieving sustainable development that provides job opportunities and ensures economic stability.
The two-day conference will be followed by a local conference on “Encouraging comprehensive investment for local development in Lebanon.”
Source: National News Agency