Hariri sponsors round table on ECommerce

The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri said: “We have to become a digital Country with a digital economy and we lack nothing to be able to achieve this.”

“We have to work quickly to make up for what we missed,” he said.

“Technology is now within reach and we have to catch up because citizens cannot afford to waste more time and not receive the services they deserve.”

Prime Minister Hariri’s speech came during his patronage today at the Grand Serail of a round table organized by the Business Environment and Innovation Unit at the Prime Minister’s Office in cooperation with the World Bank Group and the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon.

The session was organized by the Minister of State for Information Technology Adel Afiouni and representatives of the e-commerce ecosystem.

They discussed the main constraints to e-commerce and ways to improve the business environment for the development of this sector and help small and medium-sized companies to have access to domestic and foreign markets.

At the beginning of the discussions, Prime Minister Hariri said: “Creativity stems from within, it is a competitive advantage that the Lebanese have, but it is not enough. It requires an enabling environment, and this is the main role of the government in providing it. This is at the core of my priorities, my government is trying to support Small and medium enterprises inside and outside Lebanon.

This sector in Lebanon has gone a long way and we are working hard to speed up its work. I trust Minister Adel Afiouni and World Bank’s Middle East director, Saroj Kumar Jha, who has drawn up a valuable plan. We have to work quickly to make up for what we missed, and this will help us fight corruption and grow faster. We all know the benefits of e-commerce, especially in a world where many changes are occurring, but we see in Lebanon that no one wants to change in this direction. Today, we can make a daily and accurate follow-up to this file thanks to the existing team in Lebanon and the World Bank, who are all working on this issue. As a government, we have to provide them with the right ground and enact the required laws. This is what we are working on because it can limit the existing bureaucracy.

We have to become a digital country with a digital economy and digital corridors, and we do not lack anything to do so because the citizen wants services and no longer accepts us to waste more time and we have to understand that. We have to work to provide him with the services he needs. Technology is now within reach and we have to catch up with this development. We may find objection to what we do by those who cling to traditional means or by some corrupt and others but we are working to put an end to them with your help and cooperation.”

Minister Afiouni Said: “In today’s competitive environment, e-commerce is essential for growth and efficiency.

Our economic prosperity depends on our ability to export faster and this is where e-commerce is the main catalyst and opportunity for our companies and businesses to grow beyond their limited markets.

We consider e-commerce a strategic priority for our government, and we must work with all key stakeholders to enable the development of a competitive and efficient e-commerce industry.”

For his part, Kumar Jha said that the World Bank launched its new pilot project entitled “e-commerce and SMEs led by women in Lebanon” in partnership with IDAL to facilitate the access of small and medium-sized enterprises led by women to Local markets and export markets through e-commerce platforms and a full range of activities such as training, corporate advisory services, and strengthening the e-commerce system. He said the project will train and certify up to 20 e-commerce consultants in Lebanon and will have 125 women SMEs on e-commerce platforms. This is part of a larger program being implemented in seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt and Djibouti, under a grant of $ 3.82 million Dollar.”

Finally, Nabil Itani, Chairman and General Manager of the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon spoke about the importance of ensuring that companies and consumers have an enabling environment to benefit from e-commerce, which requires an appropriate legal framework that ensures facilitating e-commerce transactions, improving logistics, accelerating electronic payment transactions, and training in digital marketing.

Source: National News Agency