Abu-Ghazaleh Participates in the Meeting of the Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Association through Video Conferencing

27-Apr-2020

AMMAN - HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, founder and chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Global (TAG.Global), participated in the recent Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Association (ELBA) meeting entitled ‘The Arab Economy and the Post-Coronavirus Challenges’, held through video technology.

The participants discussed several topics relating to the health and the social implications of the coronavirus on the world as a whole and on the Arab countries particularly. The also discussed the indicators of recovery from the pandemic, and the potentials of avoiding the worst global economic recession in history.

During the conference, the attendees discussed the points of view of Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, aired through many international audio-visual media outlets and various  social media platforms over the past weeks, regarding the many threats the world is currently facing including the virus. 

In his opening statement, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh briefed the participants on his vision on Egypt's economic prospects in the post-coronavirus pandemic, as well as its opportunities under the current circumstances, reiterating his stance that the Egyptian economy is set to become the sixth strongest in the world by 2030; while China will come in the first rank, to be followed by the US and Russia. Other countries will join the list for the first time such as Indonesia, he said.

Commenting on the role of public and private sectors in dealing with the current conditions to overcome the crisis, Dr. Abu Ghazaleh affirmed the importance of a joint role in carrying out what is required to minimize the crisis losses. ‘Unfortunately, the response of a number of countries was slow, and preemptive measures to avoid negative economic effects of the virus outbreak in the world were visibly lacking, with most attention focusing on the health implications only,’ Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said. 

Regarding the collapse in oil prices, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh tackled the impact of low oil prices on the economy of the oil-exporting countries, especially the Arab Gulf states. He emphasized the need for redirecting the investments of these countries overseas as an appropriate alternative to diversify revenues in the upcoming period, saying: “We have to live with this crisis, and be fully aware that the risks of the global recession are on the rise, not to mention that the unemployment rate and the exit of  many firms from the markets will increase day after day. We have to carefully do our calculations until 2025 for economic recovery."

During his speech, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh called for setting out a roadmap to solve Lebanon’s crisis and offer a glimmer of hope. At the same time, he denounced the absence of a Marshal Plan- style fund in the Arab world, berating the lack of a mechanism to deliver funds to those most affected by the crisis:  the small and medium-sized enterprises.

In light of the existence of different medicine and food stuffs standards in the Arab countries, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh emphasized that such differences discourage trade among the Arab countries; calling for establishing an Arab ‘FDA’, Food and Drug Administration, to unify such standards. Additionally, he called for the reconsideration of some exiting tax policies to stimulate the related companies, saying that: ‘The obstacles placed by some local Arab ministries such as preventing the entry of some agricultural crops, solutions or medicines into their lands would badly affect the protection of investors in this field, and this applies to so many other things."

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated that the only way to get out of the crises is to turn suffering into blessing; to stop wasting time; to  overcome barriers and obstacles within a global trade matrix and an Arab agreement to enhance interaction at  both Arab and global levels.

“I would like to say to the Arab nation that we must stick together to get through this crisis, mainly because the Arab region possesses resources that haven’t been exploited yet, and today is our great chance to top the list of economic countries”.