Abu-Ghazaleh Chairs RDCL World Board of Trustees Meeting through Video Conferencing Technology

23-Apr-2020

BEIRUT – The Association of Lebanese Business People in the World (RDCL World) held a Board of Trustees meeting headed by the Board Chairman HE Dr. Talal Abu Ghazaleh, who is also the Chairman and Founder of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Global (TAG.Global).

The purpose of the meeting that was moderated by Dr. Fouad Zmokhol, President of the Association, was to apprise the business community of the views and the guidelines of Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh in the wake of the health and the economic challenges of the coronavirus and the impact of the virus invasion on the current conditions in Lebanon particularly the economic, the financial and the banks’ related hardships.

At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Zmokhol referred to the crises anticipated by Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh during the RDCL World meeting last year which turned out to be real in 2020He stated  that members of RDCL World are interested to know how to prepare the business climate to overcome the coronavirus and be prepared for the post-coronavirus era in view of liquidity shortages and recession.

In this regard, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated that the coronavirus crisis would last for much longer than the politicians declare, saying that, “we need at least one year before a cure, a vaccine or an antiviral drug is invented.” adding:
“Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, I affirmed that we have to be prepared for the post-crisis era, but, I was criticized and accused of placing economic interests before peoples’ lives. That is not true. What I said and I still say is that saving lives is important, and so is the protection of the economy which is essential for those saved lives. I insist that we should not allow such a virus to destroy our future and our economy, keeping in mind that we must secure for our people decent means of living such as work, accommodation and services. This is exactly what I warned of,” Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said.

He emphasized the importance of pursuing a  two-track strategy; one is to fight the outbreak of the virus and the second is to take immediate and drastic measures  to address the impact of the epidemic on the economy. “We, at TAG.Global, since 2017 have taken enormous steps and measures to guarantee sustainability of our business,” he said.

“Unfortunately, all Arab countries are looking into means on how to increase state revenues which is important, yet, what is most important is the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which leads to increased revenues without raising taxes. Countries have to consider increasing the tax base without increasing direct taxes.” he added.
Responding to an inquiry on the feasibility of increasing taxes in Lebanon, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh expressed hopes that the Lebanese Government would not resort to such measures until the economy is stimulated and adequate economic growth is achieved.

Additionally, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh emphasized that banks in Lebanon are not broke although they suffer hardships, noting that the monetary policy of any country is based on a an equilateral triangle similar to the Bermuda Triangle, the government, the central bank and banks. The banks give loans to the government and to the Central Bank, hence, if the banks recover their money from the two said entities (government and the central bank), then there would be no liquidity problem.”
“Out of my love for Lebanon; a dear country to my heart in where I lived and received my education, I want to point out that the crisis  in Lebanon is not only banks’-related.It is mostly related to spending beyond available means and that is how the deficit had occurred. Yet, the catastrophe might happen, God forbid if the government decided to adopt the haircut or the capital control options control which means that the State goes bankrupt not just  the banks,” Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh clarified.
He warned that the real threat to the existence of the Lebanese state can happen if the government decided to illegitimately and unconstitutionally tamper with depositors assets, in which case it will be declared bankrupt and failed. 

In answering some Board member questions Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said "China is working on producing the 6G technology in 2026, while the United States puts pressure on the other countries to ban the 5G since that threatens the US Internet project.”  He further pointed out that the Internet is a vital US weapon as the dollar is; therefore, the US would not allow China to have an Internet that competes with its network and would also enable the latter to access all data in the world.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh mentioned that there are ten controversial issues between the US and China and each one of them can lead to war, expected in his view in September or October this year. He added that the war would force the two parties to sit at the negotiations table to draft a new world order, and that would be followed by prosperity and progress, mainly in the Arab region which suffered enormous devastation, but at the same time it is the richest region in terms of of wealth and resources.

In response to another question, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said that in the post-coronavirus era, the European Union will not last for more than ten years. “I said that five years ago based on the fact that Europe is an artificial project that was shaped in the aftermath of the World War II.”
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh also referred to the New Industrial Revolution which the world will witness stating that the industrial sector would witness a historical transformation due to the knowledge revolution that would create opportunities for new industries.

Accordingly, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh suggested the formation of a task force from businessmen and experts in the private sector to deliberate the future of Lebanon since the private sector is the one that makes wealth and prosperity while the state performs the regulatory role. He added that the task force has to find real solutions for Lebanon’s problems, expressing his readiness to offer any advisory role or future plans to deal with Lebanon’s economic difficulties.

Answering a question on safe investment, whether it should be in gold, oil, real estate or others, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh affirmed that any productive work which is based on technology and knowledge is the safe investment, since it’s possible for simple industries or inventions to achieve large profits, if they were based on knowledge technology, adding that TAG.Global is the largest organization in the Intellectual Property field in the world because it adopted technology and digital excellence, enabling it to outperforms all of its competitors.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh addressed the participants, saying: “a ten-year-old child who sought refuge in Lebanon because of the Zionist occupation of his country in 1948 and lived there till 1960, which was the most important period in his life that shaped his personality, is the one who is addressing you today, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, who lived, studied and graduated from Lebanese university. I then established my companies at the beginning of my professional life in this country for which I will always be indebted. Thank you Lebanon and thank you Lebanese people.”