Here's a glimpse of what we do
Members of "100% Liban" participated in a conference via zoom organized by the Association of Lebanese Businessmen in France (HALFA) entitled: "Les perspectives de la relance économique au Liban après la signature de l'accord avec le Fond monétaire international" with a speaker Dr. Nassib Ghobril, head of the research and analysis department at Byblos bank.
Ghobril mentioned that signing an agreement with the IMF helps restore confidence.
He also pointed out that there are eight measures that Lebanon must implement , seven related to the banking sector.
This test for the Lebanese authorities in order to asses their actions and decisions.
Ghobril indicated the importance of remittances to Lebanon, mainly from the Lebanese Diaspora, are not invested in projects but they allow families to meet their daily expenses.
On the other hand, Ghobril gave an overview on the Lebanese banking system and how he contributes to support the economy in the crisis .
Also he mentioned indicators that show the political crisis in Lebanon.
Ghobril considers that the confidence of the Lebanese and the Diaspora is affected by the political instability and the bad management in the public sector while countries like Jordan,Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia showed good results .
On the 18th and 19th of August 2022, The World Lebanese Cultural Union conference was held at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik and "Le Royal" Hotel Dbayeh, with official, diplomatic, academic and associations attendances.
The first day the following panels were presented:
1- "Opportunities and challenges, economic resources, job creation"
2- “The economic situation in Lebanon"
3- “Diversification of Energy Resources "
4- "Tourism 1st economic resource for Lebanon - how to develop?"
5- “Challenges and Success Stories of Youth Entrepreneurs in the Manufacturing Sector”.
The second day the following panels were presented:
1- “Lebanese Migration”
2- “Transparency, Technology and Public Administration”
3- “Cooperation in health”
4- “Investment, diversification, and economic growth”
5- “New culture for a New Lebanon: Attributes, Challenges and Opportunities”
6- “Branding Lebanon - Buy Lebanese”
The main recommendations of the conference were:
1- The participants unanimously approved the project to establish an expatriate fund for Lebanon to overcome the economic crisis, based on the participation of all Lebanese around the world in the form of an annual financial contribution of $365 per year, $1 per day.
2- The priority of restoring confidence and political stability in order to improve the investment climate within a cohesive team work that sets a clear vision to prioritize the electricity file, restructure the banking sector, and work hard to return deposits to their owners.
3- Create and implement the necessary legislation to ensure the rights in a safe and smart way that encourages young people to succeed and stay in Lebanon.
4- Support Lebanese youth who have innovative ideas and encourage them to form new networks.
5- To adopt the perfect strategy in the field of renewable energy as a basis for sustainable development.
6- Working on the adoption and development of digital platforms in cooperation with "Libanophilia" to bring together the Lebanese from around the world.
7- Cooperating with Professor Alain Allay about seawater desalination.
8- Work against corruption and seeking to activate oversight bodies.
9- Work with Dr. Adnan Al-Bakri's project on electronic medicine and artificial intelligence to serve Lebanese patients.
10- To activate the coordination between Lebanon's Chambers of Industry and other countries of expansion in order to facilitate trade exchange and finances.
100% Liban is working on a unified economic vision through an effective communication which will generate practical solutions that will save our beloved country.
An E-conference was presented on Sunday 28th of August, organized by the Lebanese diaspora, moderated by our new Lebanon member Mr. Ferris Wehbi and the special guest speaker Mr. Nicolas Chikhani, discussing the economic situation in Lebanon and the roadmap to save Lebanon.
Only together we make it happen!
It was pointed out by Mr. Nicolas Chikhani that several mistakes were done, he started by giving a brief explanation on the history that led to this crisis:
- Ever since 2001 the problems started accumulating when the balance of payment became negative for the first time, and no measures were taken to sustain the economy since.
- 2011 was a disaster, the war on Syria severely affected the Lebanese economy. For the first time the balance of payment lost overnight $3 billion. In this year we had around 1.5 million Syrian working in Lebanon and sending almost ¾ of their salaries to their families in Syria, which caused a huge impact on the economy.
- The balance of payment kept on decreasing year after year.
- In 2016, the central bank reserve was bleeding to cover the shortage of the balance of payment and of the deposit of the state.
- The state was spending more than the revenue that it was generating.
- The country could no longer sustain the bleeding of its currency to cover all the losses between the balance of payment and printing money, they did the first financial engineering (that lasted from 2016 to early 2019)
- The central bank could correct liquidity but the country generated losses in the system.
- When the revolution took place in October 2019, the bank sector closed for more than 15 days, which created a bank-run, the people lost the trust in the system.
- February 2020, a historical mistake was made: the state of Lebanon defaulted on the Eurobond, with no backup plan!
- By defaulting the Eurobonds, they did a huge haircut on the depositors because banks used to hold $15 billion of Eurobonds using the money of the depositors.
- We reached a deterioration now of more than 100%, a catastrophic hyperinflation and the destruction of the purchase power of the Lebanese citizens
For the upcoming 6 to 10 months if nothing is done, the remaining reserves at the central bank will disappear and the country will be bankrupt.
We cannot destroy the banking sector! We can merge it, it can be structured, we have 55 banks that can go down to 10 banks. Because we need banks to recreate the economy, we need to create a GDP growth so that the banking system will finance the growth.
The Roadmap to save Lebanon presented by Mr. Nicolas Chikhani
1- He emphasized that the lack of electricity is even worse than war. It’s an energetic war. Today almost every family spends around 500$ to 600$ on electricity that could’ve been used as a purchase power and help recover the economy.
2- The Central Bank must act immediately, and present a transparent monetary policy that standardizes the exchange rate. Discussing and analyzing if it's best to float the exchange rate or block it.
3- The parliament needs to act immediately. The rule of law in acting on the independence of justice to fight corruption and insure that we are killing the informal economy by stopping and controlling the borders (port, airport and land)
4- Strengthen the public audit. Today it’s not working, the reports are not being brought to justice. It will audit the public institution fully and will ensure transparency and control.
5- We need to set a strong fiscal policy and strategy to close the budget deficit and strengthen tax collection and not increase it.
6- Restructuring the public sector and rescheduling the debt.
7- Set a full strategy to squeeze the balance of payment. A negative balance of payment is a net outflow of money outside the country.
8- Enact a law to protect private deposits.
100% Liban and Justicia, the Lebanese Law firm founded by Dr. Paul Morcos that aims at accentuating clients’ goodwill through introducing a wide range of legal and consultancy services, held a dialogue on Wednesday 7th of September between a number of deputies and the private sector entitled: "What and how do MPS legislate?"
The session was moderated by the lawyer Dr. Paul Morcos, founder of Justicia, and gathered the following participants:
- MP Jean Talouzian
- Dr. Abdel Majid Awad
-MP Ashraf Rifi
- Mr. Nicolas Chikhani, Financial expert & member at 100% Liban
- MP Adib Abdel Massih
- Dr. Mounir Rached, Economist & member at 100% Liban
- MP Ashraf Rifi
- Mr. Pierre Younes, representative of MP Camille Chamoun
- Dr. Ziad Hayek, President of WAPPP & member at 100% Liban
- MP Yassine Yassine
- Dr. Lina Oueidat, Consultant at ECS
- Mr. Jihad Aoun, banker
- Mrs. Pamela Ibrahim El Kosseifi, general coordinator of 100% Liban
- Dr. Elias Kassab, member of 100% Lebanon
- Mr. Walid Akel, member of 100% Lebanon
The discussion dealt with three topics currently under legislation:
- Banking secrecy
- Capital Control
- The so-called economic recovery plan.
When voting on any bill, the participants agreed to prioritize the supreme interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese, with the protection of depositors' money and efforts to recover it at the forefront.
1- Banking secrecy: It contains no data protection, it allows many agents to read the data but does not protect it.
2- Capital control: It doesn’t have an exit strategy, and its formula is detrimental to the economy.
3- Economic recovery plan: It does not protect the rights of the depositors and does not restore confidence.
Dr. Ziad Hayek suggested that: “We must find a way to be innovative in solving the financial crisis”.
MP Yassine Yassine added that: “After 30 months of a monetary collapse Capital Control alone cannot fix the issue, it must be combined with an economic rescue plan”.
Dr. Mounir Rached indicated that we are wasting time today and what we need to do is to build up a reform program without legislation because the delay is due to indecisive legislation.
Mrs. Lina Oueidat emphasized on the importance of the impact assessment of each and every law.
Mr. Pierre Younes, representative of MP Camille Chamoun stressed on the need to put legislation in the service of the people and the interest of the country, noting the importance of expanding executive public opinion in the parliament.
They also emphasized on the importance of researching minimum-quality laws and legislation, as well as working to approve and liberate them from Parliament's drawers.
100% Liban will follow up on those discussions and offer positive measures to help the economy recover.