The Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference for the African Continent 2018 concluded Sunday its works in the capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, with the call for preserving the Lebanese identity and promoting the restoration of Lebanese nationality being at the core of its closing session recommendations.

In its four forums, the conference touched on economic affairs and investment opportunities available throughout the African Continent, and the need to maintain the Arabic language through Lebanese schools abroad, spreading the Lebanese culture, art and taste.

Conferees called for increasing cooperation among Lebanese businessmen in West Africa through the establishment of partnerships between them, aimed at winning huge investment projects through tenders offered by African countries. They also highlighted the need to allow Lebanese commercial banks into the West African market, providing services to Lebanese and Africans alike.

Moreover, the conference stressed the need to provide incentives for Lebanese expatriates residing in Africa to engage in large investment projects in Lebanon that exceed bank transfers and personal projects.

Above said, the conference shed light on capitalizing cultural and fraternal relations with African countries as a step towards improving bilateral economic relations, proposing to form a ministerial-diplomatic committee through which business executives can work to activate trade agreements signed between Lebanon and North African countries. Additionally, such a committee can work to establish business associations and chambers of commerce and industry between Lebanon and African countries.

Furthermore, among the conference's recommendations was the launching of a Lebanese-African business forum that will allow for capacity building and developing a strategy to support Lebanese investments in Africa. Also, it called for the formation of a committee specialized in the marketing of Lebanese products in Africa, which would include the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economy, Agriculture and Industry.

In this connection and speaking at the conference's closing session, Economy and Trade Minister Raed Khoury urged the Lebanese to "invest in their unity, since the homeland lies in the hands of all resident and expatriate Lebanese."

Khoury touched in his address on the state plan for comprehensive economic development in Lebanon worth 15 billion dollars, which would help open the doors of investments and form a qualitative economic leap.

The Minister also praised the success of the conference despite all the challenges, thanks to the participants' enthusiasm, determination and belief that this project is the catalyst for mobile success in all corners of the world.

Source: National News Agency

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