Bassil urged "Lebanese expats to invest in their country, especially that Lebanon can provide many facilities,"
Bassil: Nationality Most Important Thing For Expatriates
10 Mar 2018
Lebanon - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Gebran Bassil concluded Saturday the 2018 Lebanese-Oceania Energy Conference at the Doltone House Park in Sydney, saying that carrying a Lebanese nationality was the most important achievement for expats.
"The Lebanese nationality is the most important thing we did for expatriates, because it constitutes a part of our identity and culture," Bassil stressed.
The minister noted that it was not easy to make the energy conference a success over a period of three months, especially with the replacement of the diplomatic staff in Australia, thanking the Lebanese Ambassador and two Consuls in Sydney and Melbourne "for their tremendous efforts in rendering the conference a success."
He also announced that "the next Energy Conference will be held in Melbourne and then in New Zealand."
On the business level, Bassil urged "Lebanese expats to invest in their country, especially that Lebanon can provide many facilities," calling on them to raise the level of trade exchange between the two countries.
The minister also encouraged educational exchange while preserving the Arabic language and Lebanese dialect.
Bassil stressed the importance of appointing as many consuls as possible because they serve Lebanon freely, despite all obstacles.
"I feel ashamed to tell expatriates that some in Lebanon are impeding the signing of decrees to appoint honorary consuls," he went on.
Bassil concluded by saying, "They are trying to poison the Diaspora...Everyone has the right to have a political affiliation, but no one has the right to divide the Lebanese expatriates because of their political affiliation and differences...And whenever we do so ourselves, we ask you to renounce us...We have one project and one thought for the Diaspora, which is Lebanon that remains greater than all of us."
The 2018 Diaspora Energy Conference pursued its meetings for the second consecutive day in Oceania on Saturday, under the patronage of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, with discussions touching on investment opportunities between Lebanon and Oceania and ways of boosting bilateral cooperation at various levels.
Participants highlighted the importance of paying attention to the investment sector to attract direct investments from both sides.
Focus was also pinned on the efforts exerted by the Government of Lebanon to maintain political stability in the country, in addition to the developments witnessed in the private sector, which prove that Lebanon remains an attractive country for investment.
Ways of strengthening commercial and trade relations between Lebanon and Australia also featured high during discussions, with great reliance on the Lebanese expatriate community in this respect in light of the strong, successful and trustworthy presence it enjoys in Australia.
On the other hand, conferees addressed the law on restoring the Lebanese nationality, stressing the importance of helping Lebanese expatriates to identify their roots and work to restore their nationality, preserve their mother tongue and adopt the Lebanese curriculum, in addition to registration that allows them to exercise their political and civil rights in Lebanon.
Six Dialogue Sessions
The conference was divided into six dialogue sessions, resulting in the adoption of the following recommendations:
The first session entitled Libanity:
First: Continuous communication with expatriates at the individual level to urge them to register their records in personal status records, trough highlighting the incentives provided by Lebanon.
Second: Open Lebanese schools in New Zealand and conduct social activities aimed at strengthening their ties with Lebanon.
Third: Facilitating Lebanese tourism services for expatriates.
Fourth: Unify the efforts of the Lebanese Diaspora institutions to activate them better, keep pace with technological development and take advantage of the opportunities it provides to connect the Lebanese to their motherland.
The Second Session entitled “Investment”:
First: Expatriates should be invited to take advantage of the numerous opportunities set by the Lebanese government, the Central Bank and the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) to attract economic investments to Lebanon.
Second: The Lebanese government adopts a reform policy on the economic level by benefiting from the oil sector revenues in the near future to fill the public debt deficit and contribute to the prosperity of Lebanon by completing the process of building and developing infrastructure and encouraging growth to create jobs and stimulate the economic cycle.
Third: Implement government initiatives and long-term strategic plans to support the younger generation and motivate it to stick to their land and stay in Lebanon.
Fourth: Rely upon international conferences to support Lebanon and on the partnership with the private sector, especially with the expatriate energies to participate in economic projects that contribute to the renaissance of Lebanon.
The third dialogue session, entitled the Australian Model and Educational Exchange:
First: To establish a joint body in Lebanon and Australia to allow Lebanese students to come to Australia, with the aim of achieving university education and providing scholarships for outstanding students.
Second: Harmonization of educational curricula in Lebanese and Australian universities through the signing of agreements of understanding and twinning.
Third: Encourage expatriate students to pursue their studies in Lebanese universities in order to strengthen their association with their motherland.
The fourth dialogue session entitled Trade and Investment Between Lebanon and Australia:
First: Enhancing trade exchange with a view to bridging the huge gap in the trade balance between Lebanon and Australia, especially the subject of Niche Products, which has spread and entered the Australian market recently.
Second: The establishment of a permanent exhibition of Lebanese products in Australia and the world sponsored by The Lebanese Australian and Arab Chambers of Commerce.
Third: expedite the appointment of the economic attachés.
Fourth: the Lebanese market is not limited to the geographical area of Lebanon, but reach down to the huge capabilities and energies spread around the world.
The fifth dialogue dession entitled Health Care:
First: Recommending the launch of an investment institution in the field of exchange of expertise, research, medical training and research publication between Lebanon and Australia.
The sixth and final dialogue session entitled Cultural Heritage, Social Ties and Media Influence:
First: To motivate the Lebanese to preserve their cultural heritage through the element of passion and the effective power of the media.
Second: Transfer the beautiful image of Lebanon through programs and documentaries.
Third: Focus on young expatriates and engage them in cultural activities. Finally, assigning a new role to the expatriate media in the expatriate council to get the voices of the Lebanese in Australia heard in their motherland.