NNA - The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri urged business and financial persons to work hard to regain trust in Lebanon , a statement issued by Hariri's press office said on Tuesday.
Hariri made a speech at the opening of the "Business and Financial forum: Regaining the Trust" at Phoenicia Hotel, organized by Confex, in collaboration with the Central Bank in which he said:
"I am pleased that you picked for your meeting the title "Regaining the trust", which is the motto of our government. When we chose this motto, we meant confidence in all its meanings: The confidence of the Lebanese in their state and its institutions, the confidence of expatriates in their homeland and its economy, the confidence of the Arabs and the international community in Lebanon and the confidence of investors in general in the Lebanese economy.
You of all people know that gaining trust is hard, preserving it is harder and regaining it is even harder.
Our duty is to regain confidence after years of constitutional vacuum, deadlock in institutions, vertical political divide, tension in Arab and international relations and bleakness in economy and investments.
The election of the president and the formation of the government were the first step on this long road. After that, the government has taken rapid steps towards regaining confidence by adopting vital decrees and postponed decisions, last but not least of which was the adoption of the budget after 12 years of absence, which is 12 years of absence of accountability and transparency.
Regaining the confidence of the citizens also requires the activation of the work of public institutions and administrations by appointing qualified people, and fighting corruption and punishing the corrupt regardless of the political and sectarian considerations. And this requires the activation of control bodies so they perform their duties based on the rule of law and the honest judiciary.
We know that the social security of the citizen is an essential parameter for the confidence he has in the state and its institutions. The foundations of social security are the essential services of health, electricity, education, electricity, water and other essential elements of life.
Indeed, the displacement of our brothers fleeing the criminality of the Syrian regime to Lebanon is pressuring the ability of the state to ensure these basic services and doubles the pressure on the infrastructure which is already exhausted.
We cannot regain confidence through a signature, a decision or a political moment, but we can start to show the Lebanese and the world that we understand the problem and have the solution. This is what we did exactly. We prepared a unified vision of the Lebanese state and presented it during our Arab and international meetings including the Brussels conference that was held last week.
In summary, we are telling the world: our duty is to host the Syrian brothers, and after the chemical massacre that took place in Idlib there is no need to remind anyone of the reasons. We thank the world for the humanitarian assistance that is being offered to the displaced and we want it to continue.
But this is not enough: Our infrastructure can serve 3 million persons. The Lebanese population is now of 4 million and with the presence of the Syrian displaced and Palestinian refugees, the same infrastructure is now serving 6 million persons. Invest in the infrastructure and public services and everyone will benefit: the Lebanese first and then the displaced.
Thus, we will be able to relaunch our economic growth and create job opportunities for the youth in particular. We are not going to wait for the international community because this is our country and we are working to improve its situation. But the international community should recognize that Lebanon is offering a service to the whole world, and shoulder its responsibility in this field.
During my Arab and international meetings, and in France, Germany and during my meetings at the Brussels conference, the vision of the government was met with favorable reactions and I even received congratulations on our approach to the solution.
We are a country that reacts quickly and with a significant improvement to the positive shocks. This is one of the secrets of our immunity.
The positive shocks, since the election of a president, the formation of the government, the decisions it took, and the achievements of the army, the internal security forces and all the security forces, had a very positive effect on the path towards regaining confidence. This is clear in the improvement of the international community's opinion of our country, and the fact that the international economic and monetary institutions will improve Lebanon's economic indicators in the coming period.
At the same time, the visits of the President to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, our participation together in the Arab summit and my last visit to Saudi Arabia are all steps toward enhancing confidence with our Arab brothers.
Soon, we will hold the first meeting of the higher Lebanese-Saudi committee in Riyadh and we are working on several resolutions and agreements that will be announced during this meeting.
As you all know regaining confidence is a long and tough road, but there is one confidence that does not need to be regained because it was never lost: it is my confidence in Lebanon, in the Lebanese, in all of you, in your capacity to be creative, to accomplish and to surprise the world.
This confidence is unlimited so let us work together for the interest of everything that brings us together, let us prevent the return of divisions and enhance our national unity to protect our country in this dangerous region, to regain confidence in our state and economy and make sure that the Lebanese citizen gets the decent life he deserves".