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The event was divided into four sessions. They dealt with the telecom sector and its current structure in Lebanon, sector reforms and the impact of regulations, a review on law 431 –what is its regulatory approach and how is it implemented? – as well as with the sectors future and its value for international players.
In his opening speech Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani emphasized the outstanding importance of the telecommunication sector for the development of Lebanon’s economy, its treasury and the prosperity of the Lebanese people. Investments in this sector should be recognized as a commitment to emerging technologies, e-governance, smart cities, e-commerce, education and digital media. He continued by pointing out that the private sector, with the support of smart regulations from the public hand, needs to be responsible for investing into ICTs in the future. With a share of 12% of Lebanon’s economic product in 2017 in contrast to a share of 16% in 2012 reforming the telecommunication sector is vital for Lebanon’s economic growth, Mr. Hasbani closed.
Dr. Malte Gaier concurred with Mr. Hasbani by emphasizing the importance of fast and effective investments in order to make Lebanon’s digital revolution a success story. He referred to the enormous possibilities connected to the development of ICTs: Given its IT-literate, cosmopolitan, and linguistically skilled workforce, Lebanon could turn out as the regions pioneer in the field of telecommunication and digital information technology. In order to achieve this goal Lebanon should implement far-reaching economic reforms as well as structural and regulatory adjustments.
KAS thanks all participants and guests for their valued contributions to the round table.
The rich discussions, conclusions and directives from the third workshop will be collected in a paper that will be included in the reform program to be presented by the Lebanese Forces Party during the closing conference.