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Najjar presses for modernization of commercial legislation.

Byline: Dana Halawi

Summary: Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar emphasized on Tuesday the importance of strict implementation of commercial laws in Lebanon "which are currently either not complete or not fully enforced."Aa"Commercial laws in Lebanon open a broad path to freedom in business contracting but we have to admit that the legal culture in our country lacks the credibility in legislation," he said.

BEIRUT: Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar emphasized on Tuesday the importance of strict implementation of commercial laws in Lebanon "which are currently either not complete or not fully enforced."Aa"Commercial laws in Lebanon open a broad path to freedom in business contracting but we have to admit that the legal culture in our country lacks the credibility in legislation," he said.Aa

Najjar highlighted the role of the government in enforcing the implementation of laws in order to secure the proper work of institutions.Aa

The minister's remarks came during a one-day conference on the modernization of commercial laws in Lebanon that was held at Geffinor Rottana Hotel in Beirut.Aa

He criticized Lebanon's adoption of laws that go back to the French colony in Lebanon and stressed the need of modernizing these laws. However, he said, laws available in Lebanon offer practical solutions to conflicts without hindering personal freedoms and individual initiatives.Aa

This has enabled our legislative system to be highly receptive of changes that shaped business laws in our country during the 1970s and 1980s when we were preoccupied with wars," he said.Aa

Najjar said that business laws need to be reorganized and reformulated by taking into account the new structures of organizations and the possibility of adopting e-commerce in a wide manner in the near future.Aa

"We have collected around 75 laws and we are planning on carrying out a reform project to review and improve these laws," he said. "We are also aiming at activating the work of the institute of judicial studies in order to provide our judges with the necessary and continuous formation."Aa

For his part, minister of economy Mohammad Safadi who was representing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said that encouraging investment, increasing the productivity and the volume of exports should be at the basis of modernizing commercial laws.Aa

"This will lead to an increase in job opportunities and income per capita," he said.Aa

Safadi said that the Lebanese government was seeking to improve inter-Arab trade and implement the steps that lead to a partnership with the European Union.Aa

"We are also working on joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and facilitating the registration of foreign companies," he assws. "The government has worked on so many commercial and economic laws and they are all now in the parliament waiting for ratification."Aa

Lebanon has been trying to join the WTO since October 14, 2002, the day of the first working party talks which took place in Geneva. But, the process took a lot of time due to the economic and legislative reform that was required from the Lebanese government for conformity to the requirements of the WTO.Aa

Safadi said that the new government was adopting policies that encourage Lebanon to be an active party in the international trade. "We are also working on creating an investment friendly environment in order to boost the private sector which will add a great value to the Lebanese economy," he said. "We are encouraging the private sector by trying to minimize the production costs."Aa

On the other hand, Safadi criticized the lack of laws related to the Information Technology (IT) sector. "We are aiming to establishing the e-government framework and this requires the ratification of special IT laws previously worked on between the Lebanese Economic and Trade Ministry and the European Union," he said.Aa

He said that it is necessary to create a business-friendly environment by facilitating the procedures of establishing new companies and decreasing its costs in addition to modifying commercial laws in terms of capital requirements and other issues as well.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Nov 25, 2009
Words:685
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