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Hariri receives economic bodies and LARP delegation

Oct 03

 Hariri receives economic bodies and LARP delegation

The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri received this afternoon at the “Center House” a delegation from the economic bodies, headed by the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon Mohamed Choucair, who presented to him a document containing their observations on the government’s draft regarding the tax law.

After the meeting, Choucair said: “Our meeting with Prime Minister Hariri was good and he understands the concerns of the economic bodies. We submitted our suggestions concerning law 45 and we will meet this week with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil.”

He added: “I think the suggestions that we submitted to Prime Minister Hariri are good and the basic point rejected by the economic bodies is the double taxation, article 17 of law 45, because it is against the Constitution and affects not only the Lebanese banks but all the Lebanese institutions whether banking, financial, industrial or commercial.”

Choucair said: “We are calling on the citizens of the Gulf to return to Lebanon and the Lebanese to invest in Lebanon, and the Central Bank is establishing funds for the Lebanese expatriates, but who will invest in Lebanon while seeing all these taxes, with also the double taxation?”

He explained that this is rejected and consultations will continue with everybody to reach a solution that is in the national interest.

In response to a question, Choucair said that in the last four years, 388 factories closed and exports have fallen by 30%.

He concluded: “The economic situation doesn’t bear more burdens. Today we are talking about the scale, taxes, increasing the wages in the private sector so where are we taking the country with all this? No country bears a cut of more than 2% of the gross domestic product and this is the percentage that we accepted, but with other increases, we will be ending the economy of this country, and if we continue like this, the economic will collapse.”

Lebanese-American Renaissance Partnership

Hariri also met with a delegation from the “Lebanese-American Renaissance Partnership” LARP, headed by its president Walid Maalouf, who said : “This association was founded in 2006 and is now organizing its fourth trip for Lebanese expatriates. It includes personalities from the business community who visit Lebanon for a few days and hold a conference. This year we held our conference in the Phoenicia Hotel under the patronage of Prime Minister Hariri.”

He added: “We came to thank him and to offer him ideas and recommendations that express our opinion regarding the elections, defining borders, stability, security and other issues that keep us in contact with our homeland and enable us to help, within our capabilities, in supporting the government institutions and keeping the state strong, away from external interferences and militias. We generally call for stability, sovereignty, security and strong economy.”