Hussein Hajj Hasan speaks during the conference in Beirut, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Economy Minister Raed Khoury called Tuesday for the drafting of a clear and comprehensive economic plan to be pursued by future successive governments.The minister said that SMEs are key to the Lebanese economy since they provide a great number of job opportunities.Khoury cited several other measures including an agreement with the World Bank to develop a program aimed at developing the agricultural and industrial sectors in order to create job opportunities in rural areas.For his part Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said that Lebanon's industry sector will die if the government does not take urgent measures to stop the dumping of foreign products by neighboring countries. Yasmina al-Khoury, head of Business Environment and Innovation at the prime minister's office, reiterated Gemayel's remarks by saying that the Lebanese SMEs proved to be resilient to constant challenges with Lebanon ranking second in the Arab world in terms of investments in tech startups.Khoury noted that Lebanon has come a long way in developing its entrepreneurial ecosystem.For Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil, one of the main challenges facing SMEs in Lebanon is the high cost of energy which impacts their competitiveness in the region.
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