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 .
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«حكومة» دير انطار .. قاسم حجيج: لسنا الدولة !