ArabNet Speech – 02-03-2015
ArabNet Speech – 02-03-2015
ArabNet Speech – 18-03-2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am particularly pleased to be present here today at the opening of the 6th annual Arabnet conference.
Let me start by congratulating the Arabnet Team for organizing this innovative digital conference which not only gathers entrepreneurs, experts, investors, and venture capital funds from Lebanon and the region, but also stimulates business linkages and partnerships between them.
Digital has become an integral part of developed economies and a very important tool that facilitates trade operations, enhances the exchange of information, decreases costs, leverages economic growth, increases innovation and competitiveness and most importantly creates jobs.
I want to assure today that the government of Lebanon is very committed to supporting entrepreneurs in this sector, and I personally have made that a top priority on my agenda.
In the past few years Lebanon witnessed a surge of public and private initiatives supporting startups and entrepreneurs, particularly in digital technologies. A number of financing schemes were introduced to ease their access to funds, ranging from credit guarantees, interest subsidies, crowdfunding and most recently the central bank’s initiative that allows banks to invest in the equity of startups, incubators and funds, and guarantees 75% of those investments. New VCs and angel investors entered the scene.
We saw an increase in the number of incubators, co-working spaces and business development centers. Cluster projects, the establishment of Beirut Digital district, so on so forth… all these initiatives contributed substantially to the development of a vibrant enterprise ecosystem that supports digital technologies in Lebanon.
Initiatives were not limited to that. A number of laws have been reviewed and amended, such as the bankruptcy law, secured lending, intellectual property laws, and others. These laws are awaiting parliament ratification. When enacted, they will have significant impact on the business environment in Lebanon.
All these initiatives, coupled with improvements in the infrastructure and networks, expanding broadband capacity and increasing internet speed pushed the ICT sector to grow 11% on average in the past five years and brought to the ICT market various successful entrepreneurial initiatives.
Yet, the country still has a long way to go in order to develop the sector to its potential.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lebanon is a young population with more than 40% below 25 years old and each year around 16,000 university graduates enter the workforce.
Around 2,000 are in the fields of computer science, computer engineering, and applied informatics. They are young, talented and skilled, multilingual, the best in region. But how can we get the best of them???
How can we reverse the brain drain happening in Lebanon? And how can we secure jobs for them in Lebanon?
To address this pressing challenge requires a comprehensive reform package.
At the heart of it is supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs, the main driver of economic growth and employment whereby SMEs constitute an exclusive tool that allows the use of import technologies to stimulate the economic machine and create jobs.
I am proud to tell you, that last December the Ministry has launched “the Lebanon SME strategy: a roadmap to 2020”.
This strategy is driven by an ambitious vision and a clear mission, which is “to foster the creation of vibrant and globally competitive SMEs that contribute to employment opportunities and high value-added economy.”
It identifies a clear set of strategic objectives that aim towards growing SMEs, enhancing their sustainability, and improving innovation and competitiveness, particularly in sectors with growth potential, such as ICT.
Around forty initiatives were identified including Improving ICT infrastructure, quality, cost, speed and coverage.
Implementing this strategy will exponentially increase the competitiveness of SMEs, decrease the cost of doing business, and create jobs!
Ladies and gentlemen,
Despite all existing challenges, Lebanon is emerging as a leading exporter of software products and services. In 2010, exports of ICT related activities represented 57% of the total exported services, positioning the Lebanese ICT sector first among regional countries.
But more room for export is available especially regionally, when the ICT market is growing rapidly and expected to reach USD 120 billion by the end of this year.
Lebanon could pursue distinct regional plays, focused on
A lot of opportunity is offered there, in addition to opportunities in the hardware development subsector.
We need to grasp every opportunity we have and support every single entrepreneur in this sector. This should start at a young age so that digital literacy becomes an essential part of the Lebanese culture.
How can we rank worldwide 5th in the quality of math and science education, 28th in the availability of scientists and engineers, and not take advantage of our strengths and benefit from all the offered opportunities?
I believe that Lebanon is very well positioned to become a leading innovation and entrepreneurial hub, not only regionally but globally once we reap those benefits and make full use of our potentials.
To conclude I would like to thank again the organizers and contributors and especially thank the participants in the event, who invested and believed in the important opportunity it offers. I am confident that our joint efforts will contribute enormously to the development of this promising sector.
I look forward to see the results and hear about the success of the event.
Speech Lunch with Korean Ambassador 21-03-2014
We are honored by your presence and we are pleased to welcome everyone around this table believing that sharing ideas and a valuable moment would be of great added value.
It is of our main aspirations to build a very strong relationship with your honorable country to develop the trade and knowledge exchange for what this bring to both countries the utmost benefits.
We admire the Korean culture and we look forward to creating mutual activities to develop this side that can be reflected on social and economic life.
• Korea has one of the most homogeneous populations in the world.
• Korea has its own culture (language, dress and cuisine, separate and distinct from its neighboring countries).
• They take pride in their traditional culture and their modern economic success
• Confucian mind-set culture.
• An explicit respect to people in both socially and in business matters.
• Employees of Korean companies have a strong sense of loyalty towards their employer
• Confucian emphasis on education can be felt throughout Korean society.
• Very well educated and attach much importance to academic excellence and degrees obtained.
We welcome you again and bon apetit
Lebanese Excellence Award-Round III ceremony – Presidential Palace-11/03/2014
H.E. President General Michel Suleiman presided over the Lebanese Excellence Award ceremony (2013), which was held on Tuesday March 11th, 2014 at the presidential palace in Baabda.
President Suleiman announced “that this event carries a distinctive character of place, time and content,” stressing that decentralization is a privilege that encourages sectors, and shedding light on the need to respect the basic rights of the consumers and limit the exploitation by promoting social justice. He also noted that this award is given for the third time in Lebanon at the presidential palace, adding that the main objective of this award is to deepen the culture of quality and excellence that have a large return on the economy in general and the growth rates in particular. “This award is aimed at developing a comprehensive strategy involving both the public and the private sectors,” he explained, pointing at the importance of efficient administration.
H. E. the President sealed by thanking all those who made the effort to follow the custom of this award including the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the European Union, the jury panel and the economic authority i.e syndicates, unions, chambers of commerce, CEOs of banking institutions and services, Industrialists Association and the Economic and Social Council … Finally he felicitated the winners admiring their entrepreneurial spirit and initiative spread in different countries and bearing the name of Lebanon.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Economy and Trade H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim, Minister of State for Administrative Development H.E. Mr. Nabil De Freige, Minister of Environment H.E. Mr. Mohammed Mashnouk, Head of the EU Delegation to Lebanon, H.E. Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, Director General of the presidency – Dr. Antoine Choucair, and Director of the Quality programme at the Ministry of Economy and Trade – Dr. Ali Berro, in addition to the CEO’s of the winning companies and leading economic figures, high-level public officials, and the members of the jury panel.
The ceremony was initiated by H.E. Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst who stated ” the European Union is proud of being an essential key partner for Lebanon in different areas, commending the work achieved in the field of quality and excellence, which are essential for the progress and economic development of Lebanon. ”
In his turn, Minister of Economy and Trade H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim indicated that “the breadth of globalization has led to increased competition in the domestic and foreign markets,”pointing to” the importance of focusing on the production of goods and services of high quality and value-added in order to enhance our competitiveness”. He also added that ” the Ministry of Economy and Trade has carried action plans through the quality program funded by the European Union for the development of quality and operational infrastructure, in order to expand the culture of quality and excellence in Lebanon ,” adding that the importance of ” the Lebanese Excellence Award ” lies in that it is awarded by the President of the Republic and gains its credibility with the presence of an independent high level members in the Jury panel with acknowledged expertise and efficiency , and are known for their reliability , impartiality and integrity. Then Minister Hakim emphasized the importance of transforming the quality unit at the Ministry of Economy and Trade to a Public Institute to become the responsible body for fostering quality and formulating quality plans and follow up their implementation on the national level.
At the end of the ceremony, President Michel Suleiman handed the awards to the winner companies. H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim also presented Advanced Certificate to the winners in the private sector.
Afterwards a groups’ photos were taken for the Jury Panel and the winning organizations with H.E. President General Michel Sleiman and H.E. Minister Dr. Alain Hakim.
Lebanese Excellence Award Winning institutions received awards from the President of the Republic of Lebanon, H.E. General Michel Sleiman and certificates from the Minister of Economy and Trade H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim in the presidential palace ceremony on Tuesday March11th,2014:
Intervention de son Excellence le Ministre de l’Economie et du Commerce
Dr. Alain Hakim
Lors du 5ème Congrès Annuel de l’Association Médicale Franco-Libanaise
Mesdames et Messieurs,
C’est un honneur pour moi de représenter aujourd’hui S.E. le Premier ministre, M. Tammam Salam, qui m’a demandé de vous transmettre ses salutations.
De même aujourd’hui, nous avons un grand plaisir de recevoir un homme conviction, un homme d’action, celui qui a œuvré pour la paix au Kosovo, et a contribué aux Médecins Sans Frontières qui a eu le Prix Nobel de la Paix en 1999, sans toutefois oublier son métier de base, le métier le plus humain. … M. le ministre, vous êtes le bienvenu.
C’est un plaisir d’être parmi vous aujourd’hui dans ce congrès organisé par L’Association Médicale Franco-libanaise, et dont le sujet est la coopération médicale entre la France et le Liban.
Permettez-moi tout d’abord, de remercier L’Association Médicale Franco-libanaise de nous permettre de participer à cet événement dont l’importance réside dans la diversité et la qualité des participants, ce qui montre l’engagement de différentes parties prenantes, que ce soit des facultés de médecine, des ordres professionnels, des sociétés spécialistes ainsi que les médecins francophones du pays du cèdre.
Le secteur de la santé est une importante partie de l’économie libanaise:
Les guerres récurrentes, le manque du financement publique, l’augmentation de la concurrence régionale, la pénurie des ressources et la fuite des cerveaux matérialisée par la migration des talents du secteur dans les pays voisins, ne sont que quelques exemples de ce que ce secteur est en train de traverser, tout en montrant une adaptabilité exceptionnelle et un maintien du statut de leader.
Ce sommet est un excellent exemple de la façon dont une variété d’orateurs du secteur médical peut stimuler la coopération internationale, ouvrir la voie à un soutien à la recherche médicale, et le développement ainsi que l’échange des connaissances, techniques et de l’expertise. A ce stade, je vous confirme que le gouvernement libanais encourage pleinement ces initiatives.
Cependant, le Liban est confronté à un nouveau défi que le secteur de la santé doit en tenir compte.
En effet, avec le début de la crise syrienne et l’augmentation de la demande des services de santé qui en résulte, il y a un besoin croissant de:
Nous faisons donc appel à l’Ordre des Médecins pour qu’il soit mis fin à de telles pratiques. Je peux vous assurer que le gouvernement est en train d’examiner ce dossier et serait très ferme face à ses pratiques illégales.
Enfin, je ne peux que vous souhaiter un très bon congrès et vous encourager à animer des discussions fructueuses.