The Lebanese-Australian Chamber in Sydney honors Carlos Ghosn
Joe Khattar: “Our faith remains very strong due to the resilience of our people.”
Sydney - M. E. Times Int'l: In early June, the Australian-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce held a luncheon in honour of Carlos Ghosn (KBE) at Doltone House, Sydney. Among those present were His Excellency Glenn Miles, Ambassador to Lebanon; Joe Rizk, Managing Director of Arab Bank Australia and local Lebanese media representatives.
Carlos Ghosn and Joe Khattar
First Joe Rizk the Managing Director of Arab Bank Australia said: "A warm welcome, first up let me say thank you for being with us and I am sure you will get a lot out of this gathering. On behalf of the board a warm welcome to Carlos, and I am sure you are enjoying Australia this is a fabulous country and we as Australian/Lebanese extremely proud of it. The Lebanese community has contributed enormously over the years to this fabulous country. But we are also very, proud of our heritage and what our heritage has done in this fabulous country Australia.
Mr. Ghosn, its people like you that will eventually help our motherland regain what has been lost over the years, and regain its effective role and true image around the globe.
Lebanon needs all the support we can give to wash away all the negatives embedded over the years.
During the Lunch
We must thank God that Lebanon has survived all the trauma because of decent and intelligent people that have kept it on its feet, whether they are in Lebanon or around the world.
Let me assure you that we as a Chamber are fully aware of the difficulties but we stand solidly in pursuing our ultimate objective, to see our beloved homeland become a land of peace and prosperity. Our faith remains very strong due to the resilience of our people
I must conclude by saying that we are very proud Australians, and are deeply indebted to what this wonderful land has offered our people. We are proud that the chamber is doing its utmost to promote Australian trade and services in Lebanon and the region.
"For the first time since I have been there some real political will to face the challenges that Lebanon has to deal with. I think that an election is important; we’re hoping that Lebanon will have an election.
LtoR: Sarkis Nassif, Michael Mur and Amb. Glenn Miles
Australia is part of the donor community; we have given $220 million or about to give it over the next three years on the Syrian crisis, of which about $60 million will go to Lebanon. What we tend to do is work through United Nations agencies so we look at UNICEF, UNHCR and the WFP. What we also try to do is reinforce the UN agencies; I think they have realised over the last couple of years is that when you are helping refugees it is so important that you also help those communities because otherwise you could be creating tensions among these communities. That is why we’re putting money into things like infrastructure projects.
Lastly I congratulate the ALCC on the work that it does. It is a fantastic effort and lead by Joe who puts his heart and soul into promoting Australian/Lebanon and Lebanon/Australia ties".
In 1999, I had three months experience in Japan after the announcement by Nissan that Renault decided to take 35% stake in Nissan. The Japanese asked for me to support their effort to revive profits so I moved there in April 1999. When I arrived, everybody knew I was not part of Nissan. I had the task of coming up with a plan to revive Nissan who had $20 billion in debt and the bank did not want to lend more money.
Joe Rizk welcoming the audience and in the first row appears Joe Khattar
with wife Shade and Mr Ghosn
The big thing which really stuck was the fact that I said I was committed to specific results. This stuck with the Japanese. So, by making clear these official commitments, I saved myself a lot of resistance.
As you know, the Japanese are a very pragmatic people. They do not believe in big theory but like reality and facts. When they started to see the results, little by little, they said that maybe something would happen. After three years, the revival was obvious. Little by little, you do something that people thought was impossible and I gained big status in Japan.
I remember I had a talk with the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon and he told me you know there are two sectors in Lebanon, which never loses money: real estate and banks. I think this was good advice.
We need to find something in which Lebanon can compete, keeping employment in mind. I think the worst thing is that people in Lebanon are without a job.
‘We’re going to turn our back on globalisation and going to go for protectionism’. What you see today is a lot of talk and very little action. I think we are going to see a lot of threats but very little action. In sourcing, selling, exporting, importing - we won’t change that.
At the end, Khattar presented souvenirs to Ghosn, who responded to the invitation of Fadia Ghossayn the President of the Lebanese-Australian Foundation and her husband to visit Australia and the community and participate in the foundation’s annual celebration.
Joe Rizk (1stL) with other guests during the luncheon
LtoR: S. Michael, J. Khoury and C. Shalala
Executive Chairman of Doltone House Paul Signorelli, Nadia O"Beid and guest
Ms Ghossayn (2ndL), Mr. Michaelas, Mr Khattar, Mr Ghosn and Mr Ghossayn