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Role of key Lebanese expatriates in economy

In an article published by the  Lebanese “al- Joumhoreya” newspaper , entitled the role of expatriates in the Lebanese economy,  economist professor Jasim Ajaqh said:” No exaggeration to say that remittances by Lebanese expatriates, which constitute 19 percent of GDP, have become an essential element in the Lebanese economy. However, knowing  that more than US D 30 billion of these transfers are not deployed  in the economic cycle, raises the question about the role of the Lebanese expatriates funds in the economy .

It is evident,  that the fragile  structure of the Lebanese economy  does not allow the creation of job opportunities to accommodate 16 thousand university  graduates ,annually, just  three thousands of them find jobs  in Lebanon , though  in many cases work is not compatible  by the graduate certificate. As a result, lot of young Lebanese emigrate after graduation or follow up their  study abroad.
Number of  expatriates  working  abroad increased, especially in  the USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, Saudi Arabia, France, Sweden, Brazil, Britain , so as  sums  sent  to their families  in  Lebanon , to the point that  transfers  constituted  more than 19% of  the Lebanese GDP. In 2002, volume of Lebanese expatriates  transfers to their families reached  USD 2.54 billion,  and  this sum  rose to USD 9 billion in 2014, recording a highest increase of 250%.
Total sum of   Lebanese expatriates transfers  since 2002 until 2014 amounted to US D 81 billion, a figure that exceeds Lebanon  general debt ,  of USD  70 billion .
Given the way these funds are used ,  USD 31billion are deposited in banks, while the remaining USD 50 billion used in consumption.” Quote end
Are there solutions?
Before proposing solutions, something important  must be mentioned is that lot of Lebanese expatriates did not deposit  their money in foreign or domestic banks , rather risked  their money in productive projects in Lebanon with the aim to operate  technical manpower and posed projects for implementation, though  did not receive  support  from  successive governments , and were rather fought under fear of the influence of economists on their staff when the politicians permit them  carry out their projects.
This is why it is known that an influential  politician  in certain areas prevents expatriates from building  factories or productive facilities, unless the leader gets the lions share in the management and the investor to employ supporters of the leader. This is the situation with old and new political feudalism in all Lebanon.
However, hope  s looming from new projects presented by European Union (EU)international experts in order to prevent the Lebanese from impersonate Syrians and immigrate to European  countries  in order to seek asylum
These  projects include :
- The establishment of facilities and companies like that of the Silicon Valley in California funded by Lebanese investors.
- The establishment of cardboard recycling factories
- Motorcycle Assembling
- Canning fruits and juices jams
- Advanced electronic industries for major European factories to be established  in Lebanon  because the Lebanese  laborers are  professional and cost only  3 percent of  their peers in Europe.
A delegation of  European diplomats and specialists in economic affairs  visited , Lebanese heads of the government, parliamentarians  and ministers concerned in the past three years, but no one encouraged Lebanese investors to do so in the absence of a happy ending to the problems of the presidency and stalled government.
However, this project  is expected   to be  progressing under President Michel Aoun if elected, as this project may mark  rapprochement with Berri,  with the fact that key Lebanese investors will not participate  unless a political consensus on such projects is achieved.
It is known that Europeans have communicated with prominent expatriates in Lebanon and the Diaspora including , "Prime Minister Saad Hariri , former Deputy Premier Fares , and the well-known Lebanese businessman in Africa Kassem Hejeij - ( Hujeij)- (Hojeij) , over whom  the EU rejected the intrigues fabricated against him and  the allegations were refuted  by legal facts and evidences.
To this end , the EU will provide guarantees for investors to market  their products in the European markets , through its banks and involvement major companies investors   to establish branches in Lebanon.
Lawyer of the French  businessmen Pierre Beauvois told news agencies that this project  will recruit  more than 100,000 Lebanese  during the first three years from  launching  and  the number will double yearly after European markets testing  of the products and the increasing demand for them .


Read more:

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Lebanese notables in America ask Clinton, Trump: What about Kassem Hejeij and others


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