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Lebanese PM seeks bln foreign investment amid refugee crisis

Orient Net 2017-01-20 04:33:00

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Lebanon’s prime minister called on Thursday (January 19) for "adequate and substantial" foreign investments worth nearly  billion to address the Syrian refugee crisis and upgrade the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

"In the coming three years, Lebanon needs no less than eight to ten billion dollars worth of new investments," Saad al-Hariri told a news conference in Beirut.

Hariri said that international contributions, "while appreciated ... are not proportional to the large needs of displaced Syrians and host communities".

Hariri appealed for funding for a three-year plan aimed at equipping Lebanon to better withstand the refugee influx and shore up its economy.

Most of Lebanon’s infrastructure has been awaiting repair since its 15-year civil war ended in 1990, and its debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast by the World Bank at 155 percent this year, the third highest in the world.

At the top of Hariri’s priority list is a budget, which the country has not had since 2005, and a better environment for business, his economic adviser, Mazen Hanna, told Reuters recently.

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