Choucair urges quick action to ward off economic disaster.
Summary: Mohammad Choucair, head of the Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry, warned against an economic disaster in Lebanon while calling for an urgent meeting Tuesday for economic bodies to take escalatory measures in a bid to save the economy.
BEIRUT: Mohammad Choucair, head of the Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry, warned against an economic disaster in Lebanon while calling for an urgent meeting Tuesday for economic bodies to take escalatory measures in a bid to save the economy. "I call upon economic bodies to come and meet with us Tuesday in the chamber to discuss the measures that should be taken next to save our deteriorating economy," he told The Daily Star.
He said representatives of economic sectors would each make suggestions and conferees would come up with a decision that should be implemented right after Eid al-Adha.
"We have reached a disastrous situation and I can say today that we are in danger," he said. "We are warning against a disaster in all sectors of the economy," he added.
Choucair said companies have resorted to laying off a big percentage of their workforce for them to be able to sustain their operations. "I heard the labor minister saying on TV that he lately signed for the layoff of approximately 2,200 employees and I cannot blame him for that because it is better for a company to keep 70 percent of its workforce than to shut down completely," he said.
Choucair said that some businesses had to shut down their operations while others won't be able to stay in market for another year if the situation remains the same. "Some traders resorted to selling lands and other real estate for them to finance their businesses and stay in market; but what's next?"
Choucair said that the first demand of economic bodies on Tuesday will be to elect a Lebanese president which will restore confidence in Lebanon. "We want to elect a president because this, in addition to the creation of a new government, will restore confidence in Lebanon," he said. "We also want the new president and government to restore ties with Gulf countries," he added.
Representatives of the economic sectors met Thursday as well to discuss potential solutions to the economic crisis but they were unable to come up with any concrete decisions.
"Each of the conferees gave an overview of the sector they represent and the challenges and recession facing it and we found out that losses are extremely huge," Choucair told Al Markazia. "This is why we decided to meet again and I assure you that we want to exert pressure on politicians to move fast and save the country and its economy," he added.
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|Publication:||The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Sep 2, 2016|
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