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LDE 2016 Day 2: Embracing Potentials in Australia



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it's a pleasure to be here and it's

great to have such a expert panel on

looking at the relations between

Australia and Lebanon

I must confess in fact what I did get

the invitation to come to Beirut to do

the panel I thought it was a session on

energy because I beam based in Abu Dhabi

I thought it was covering oil and gas

and I know that Lebanon has oil and gas

potential so I thought the potential of

oil and gas with regards to the energy

of the Lebanese diaspora coming back to

take advantage of the reserves that we

have in the eastern Mediterranean but I

think it's apropos the title of course

because of the energy of the Diaspora of

some 15 million people worldwide I'm of

a Greek American origin and we look with

great Envy at the work that the Diaspora

does in every corner of the world our

goal here today in the next hour in 10

minutes is to look at the potential of

the relationship between Lebanon and

Australia it's about a half a million or

just over that living in Australia today

distance is a key factor that holds back

bilateral trade but the cultural ties

the business ties what can be built for

the future the educational ties that are

already in place as you can see here we

have six panelists they're gonna do a

range of six to eight minutes of opening

comments or presentations and then we

want to allow at least 30 minutes for a

discussion amongst ourselves and to take

questions from the floor as well so have

your questions ready just give us a

signal and we'll make sure you can get

your your questions in we have a short

video I think it is about a minute and a

half looking at the potential of course

of a destination in Australia we know

the beauty of Lebanon we had a taste of

it last night at the dinner just looking

at the wine sector itself let's go ahead

and roll that video and then we'll get

our presentations ready thanks

well it's hard to describe

but it is

you see it's different down here the air

just has more life it sounds touch you

that's a place that stays sometimes

lucky it stays forever

that's what is nothing

Australia isn't just a place you see

it's a place you feel okay uh just

before I continue and invite our first

of the speakers His Excellency the

Ambassador Glen Miles our session will

at the end include the launching of the

International Chamber House and the

signing of a declaration of intent where

are we going beyond today's discussion

to real action with regards to bilateral

relations I'm gonna remind our panelists

with the exception of the Ambassador who

has 8 to 10 minutes

each one of you has 5 to 6 minutes in

your presentation if you see me doing a

dance in front of you and saying to wrap

up to keep the conversation clear and so

we can get to our roundtable discussion

let's give a warm welcome first to

ambassador Glenn Myles he's the

ambassador of Australia to Lebanon to

give us an overarching theme of their

bilateral relations thanks John and I'd

like to say I did have the same the same

sense as John did when I first read last

year about the energy conference

thinking it was about oil and gas before

I realized it was actually a great term

to describe what the dear diaspora can

add to to Lebanon and what it can give

back so on behalf of the Australian

Embassy I'd like to congratulate the

Minister for Foreign Affairs and

immigrants Gibran Basile as well as

members of his hard working ministry

team I'm putting together this

conference and I'd like to give a

particularly warm welcome to those who

have flown from Australia and other

parts of the world to this important

event now this is a second time that

I've had the pleasure of attending the

conference and I believe it is a

wonderful initiative it's so important

that Lebanon does all it can to harness

the abundant energy of the Diaspora and

uses this to stimulate and grow the

Lebanese economy and and let's be honest

Lebanon is already doing that you can

see it in the national account figures

just look at the flow of remittances

which provide the economy with such a

solid foundation

but we can and we must do more and this

conference should assist in establishing

a framework for developing trade

opportunities including those in cut

encouraging investment and

infrastructure and development which is

so badly needed and I'm sure anyone who

spent time in the traffic here knows

that this country does need investment

in infrastructure well I've only spent a

year and a half in Lebanon I've spent

almost 18 years working in the region so

as efficient a bit Nikki had a Billiken

bash where and my experience has taught

me it's the people-to-people links that

underpin and define our relationship and

in this Lebanon and Australia are just

so fortunate because the Australian

Lebanese community is both long-standing

and diverse it's well represented across

all sectors of society from politics to

business from culture to sport the

community has contributed in all manner

of ways to Australian society and the

Australian delegation that is here with

us today

one of the largest of the conference is

testament to this and nor should we

forget the lebanese australians that

reside in other countries particularly

the gulf so when we talk about the

australian Lebanese diaspora we can and

should expand our horizons and that is

why events like this are so important

because they bring people together they

provide an opportunity to meet and

discuss how we can better use the

economic power and the knowledge of the

Lebanese Australian diaspora till we

energize the relationship and to spread

the news of both Lebanon and Australia

are great places to do business now in

the 2013-14 financial year the total

trade between Australia and Lebanon

stood at only 60 million now it's

important to note here that this under

sells are there's a lot of exports that

are coming in then aren't picking being

picked up in the direct figures but

whatever the real value of the route the

trade relationship it clearly Falls a

long way short of its potential and it's

up to us both my lebanese colleagues the

australian government and you here today

to help realize the opportunities that

do exist now with that it short

introduction I'd like to take you

through a few slides which briefly

outline Australia's capabilities and

strengths

and touch on a few of the sectors where

I see potential for further engagement

so a snapshot of a Australia one of the

key problems we have in boosting the

bilateral trade relationships is about

perceptions so for those of you who

aren't familiar with the economy and

what we have a here's a quick snapshot

first off some key facts and you can't

read it which is good with more than

twenty feet four years of uninterrupted

annual economic growth now it's a record

amongst OECD countries any country would

be proud to have 24 years of

uninterrupted growth a triple a

sovereign risk profile and diverse

globally competitive industries

Australia remains well-placed to build

on an impressive record of prosperity

and at 1.5 trillion dollars Australia is

the 13th largest economy in the world

and was and was most recently ranked

fifth in the world for GDP per capita by

the World Bank

so in anyone's language it's a sizeable

and wealthy economy Australia's economy

is also predominantly services based

close to 80 percent but it's highly

diversified across a range of sectors

and most of you are probably familiar

with the success and the capabilities of

our resource sector but we are also

global leaders in several other areas

including agribusiness education tourism

and you just saw the video and wealth

management and I'll touch on more of

these in a moment and as you can

hopefully see I know it's a bit small to

read from this slide the country's

sophisticated financial services

industry is the largest contributor to

the economy generating 9 percent of its

total gross value added but it's also

worth noting that our scientific

education and telecommunication sectors

make up almost fifteen percent of total

output demonstrating Australia's highly

skilled well-educated and innovative

workforce now we get to the small print

and that's why I've got it very small so

you can't see it unless you you've got

your glasses on so what is the business

environment like well thankfully I'm

able to say that Australia is one of the

easiest places in the world to do

business overall Australia ranks 10th in

the world for ease of doing business and

fourth when compared

economies with a similar or larger

population and for those looking to

expand when thinking about opening an

office in Australia we ranked fourth in

obtaining credit and seventh in starting

a business and that's all good news for

those looking to expand operations

further afield including using Australia

as a gateway into Asia and just in case

you needed further convincing and

Lettuce FDI figures also serve as an

excellent indicator of whether global

market sees opportunity value

uncertainty Australia's global share of

foreign direct investment was 2.3

percent in 2013 now that works out to be

almost 600 billion dollars and it's a

figure that only Grant has grown on the

back of continued economic expansion and

integration with trading partners not

only in Asia but also in the MENA region

so in 2013

two-way merchant merchandise trade with

Mena countries came to sixteen point two

billion dollars now this figure is

enhanced by our growing aviation links

there are a hundred and forty flights a

week 140 fights a week between the Gulf

countries and Australia and the presence

of more than 350 companies in the region

so following on from the fundamentals I

just wanted to quickly highlight a

couple of sectors where I see real

opportunities for growth the first areas

agribusiness Australia's reputation as a

safe and secure source of quality

produce and premium products has

resulted in Australian agribusiness

with nine of the top ten destination

markets in Asia now you notice that MENA

region isn't captured in this graphic

but that's not to say it's not an

important market and in 2013 food and

agricultural products to juic countries

alone total two billion dollars now

Lebanon is a smaller but still important

market and to give you an example in

2015 beef imports into Lebanon came to

more than ten point five million up from

seven to eight million over the

preceding three years and in my time

here I've been very surprised and very

pleased by the quality as well as the

strong reputation of Australian beef you

see it in just about every restaurant

you go into

as I've already touched on Australia is

also home to one of the region's most

sophisticated financial sectors

providing access to capital and

financial expertise particularly in

wealth management Australia is full of

Park funds under management is the third

largest in the world and the largest in

the Asian region of course I don't need

to tell Lebanese about the importance of

the banking and financial sector and to

me there are obvious SEC toriel's

synergies between our countries that we

can and we should utilize the bank of

Beirut has already provided an example

by purchasing the Bank of Sydney and

establishing a foothold in the

Australian market access to quality

education is also an area where

Australia is excelling education

services are now one of Australia's

leading exports and Australia is home to

20 of the of the top 400 universities

and we track students from around the

world we are the fourth most popular

destination for choosing students

choosing to study overseas now that

means we attract more international

students than much larger economy

economies such as Germany and we have

about the same number and I think we've

just overtaken France of course Lebanon

has its own highly regarded tertiary

sector and I've been fortunate enough to

visit many of it at your leading

universities here and there is scope to

grow the number of Lebanese students

choosing Australia as an education

destination but what I want to see is

greater collaboration between

researchers based in Australia and

Lebanon to take advantage of our already

close people-to-people links finally and

picking up the education theme I just

want to mention the subject of

innovation you can send this slide just

some of the important innovations

developed by Australians which have

helped a revolutionary revolutionize how

the world does things from Google Maps

to IVF Wi-Fi to the bionic ear but while

Australians are proud of their past

achievements R&D is all about solving

the problems of the future Lebanon is

fortunate to have such a highly young

educated population your human capital

is this evidenced by all of you here

today is I believe one of your major

strengths

and I know Lebanon is also trying to

develop with considerable success its

own innovative startup program for IT

entrepreneurs so how can we help well

that that's where the Embassy comes in

and before I should go on I note that

Austrade is the main government agency

charged with assisting trade and

investment opportunities and here is a

list of some of the services they

provide but what I would do is encourage

anyone who has an interest in either

investing in in Australia or

establishing or looking at trade

opportunities is to contact the embassy

now once again I want to thanks to all

the event organizers and everyone in

attendance today and as I said at the

outset Lebanon has a very well

established Community Links with its

diaspora especially with its Australian

brothers and sisters so many of whom

have been successful in business and the

Australian delegation represented at

this cotton conference is testament to

that and hopefully occasions such as

this will enable us to identify new

opportunities to build on these

achievements now just looking at the

video I think was the message there was

important to remember there is nothing

like Australia with that chuckling

cat-eared not long after I landed in

Australia in someone else's shoes with

an empty suitcase that was full of a

dream I fell in love with the three

things a country a woman and an idea I

was fascinated by the diversity in

Australia the diversity of everything

faces races languages cultures cuisines

religions I decided to call Australia

home the women that I fell in love with

the same woman that understood in love

with the mother of my three boys

an australian-born

Italian and the idea was the idea of how

to communicate with this diversity these

people who come from every corner of the

earth so with my wife we started

Australia and the world's first

multicultural communication advertising

promotion negotiation company the work

of that company took us everywhere not

only to every one of the 200 communities

that make up Australia but quite often

to their countries of origin so we ended

up not only teaching them about many

things but quite often we learned from

them right from the start

Australia and the Australian taught me

to be fair and fair dinkum the

indigenous taught me to respect the land

I learned from the British to respect

the law and earlier the French taught me

to respect the language the Chinese

taught me how to work and work hard yet

penny he's taught me how to negotiate

while the Dutch taught me how to bargain

I learned from the Greeks the art of

debate the Arabs taught me the art of

hospitality I learned from the

Indonesian how to respect the elderly

while the Filipinos taught me about the

importance of the family and its

centrality I learned from the Vietnamese

to be tenacious the German taught me to

be precise the Korean taught me to value

education I learned from the American to

value liberty the Russian taught me the

meaning of steadfastness I learned from

the Thai how to smile and the Portuguese

taught me how to be polite I learned

from the swiss the art of neutrality

the New Zealanders taught me how to

innovate and improvise I learned from

everyone I learned from Africa to

appreciate music Europe taught me how

diversity can generate unity I learned

from the world the meaning of oneness I

learned from Hinduism to look beyond my

human frailty while Buddhism taught me

about relinquishment Judaism taught me

to always have hope Islam taught me not

to ever lose faith in God and the

Christianity taught me to love and

forgive without any discrimination the

most important lesson that I learned

from you my own people the Lebanese I

learned how to learn from everyone and

from everyone I learned that if you want

to be effective in your communication

whether you are buying or selling or

advertising or marketing or negotiating

or trading you need to understand the

culture and the language of your target

audience and this is what we learned

from definitions those people who have

ruled the Mediterranean long before the

Greeks and the Romans by learning the

languages and understanding the culture

and trading this inspired me with the

Lebanese in Australia and all the

migrant to create the ethnic business

Awards the longest-running business

award in Australia while I was doing the

award I discovered that not only

migrants in general have a higher

percentage of self employed in the

country that the Lebanese have double of

the national figure this is over the

last four decades five decades so I

learned from them how they have learned

from their ancestors definition the

awards recognize the contribution

against the odds of migrants

and over the last 20 80s the Lebanese

have received more of this award than

any other communities and the figure

constantly in Australia is always double

of their number of self-employed now to

me countries can run out of oil and gas

and petroleum and minerals but Lebanon

will never run out of the human talents

it's in our gene we inherited that and

for thousands of years

we are still trading with it and it's

our lovel energy doesn't matter what

happened the Lebanese the Diaspora will

always be a global energy for the

Lebanese and allow me to conclude by

nice poems that I remember that was said

by a famous diplomat from Lebanon and a

writer in Brazil in the early 60s by the

name of Yusuf soda

and he talked about the achievement of

the earliest migrant and he said in

Arabic Masha Allah Bereket will air this

is about the migrant dr. Jimenez me lewb

Nana was all miscellany mantequilla time

will availa Montes Ian Huckle hiya T be

afar in was nanny hot tubbin al-nusra

focal Co here far Malthus Roberta's cool

roughly will bene

and then when they told him about the

problem of diversity he said something

also so good he said Tolu @ OA fo l a--

DN a-- to HIPAA who will to Mahavira

fitted adi adi any mammoth you look nana

Bala denier tava at faux pas who Korea

to Dini with dunya Lee insanely sharpens

amojan in the Salah you Denis who saw

tool messy heiio - we do for any and

this is his conclusion about the

diaspora he said lik Alicia bin Aloysius

fara rotten on ya issue fee we are ah

who beaten any wanna know

Benna hi Marissa Ramachari Lana are dil

apna nanny is nanny political matter

Philip nan pull to Lahore fell alimony

mother Lubner Nina Feeney I want now

really to conclude by telling you I'm so

pleased to have one of the recipient of

the award mr. fat is Zuki he received

the award because again he achieved

against the odd he made the abnormal

normal he created an environment and

every hospital out of sixty hospital in

Australia by establishing a mini

shopping centre and his work is now

right across the world also I have a

sponsor of the award by the name of Tony

jaha who has the fastest growing company

in Australia in telecommunication and

the third largest company after Telstra

and Optus and Tony again employs more

than twelve hundred people including in

Lebanon same as fatty thank you very

much for listening and I think I thank

the minister and I think I'd love to

give him an award because of what he

achieved what he did by bringing is all

here deserves a very good award thank

you

in Australia when we give a public

function as a public speech we

acknowledge the original owners of the

land the Aboriginal tribes who earned

the land today I like to start by

acknowledging and paying tribute to the

Lebanese who remained in Lebanon

notwithstanding the hardship of wars

bomb being lack of infrastructure

demolitions the Lebanese without them we

will not have our lability

and we will not have a length to return

to

I wish today to share my 47 years

journey the highlights of that journey

in Australia having grown up in Lebanon

coming from a very small village called

Acton eat in the south of Lebanon

I call it my roots my inspiration and

the platform that launches us when we

are outside Lebanon to living in

Australia that's actually to living in

Australia the land of opportunities real

opportunities and challenges the land of

fairness where everyone has got access

to health to education I like to show

you where I live the most beautiful

place in Sydney

Kuji from an Aboriginal name

kujah bad smell but really the smell of

seaweeds by the shore and the place

where I work the University of Notre

Dame Australia that shares my values

values that I like to instill in my

students because my job is human capital

but not just a human capital that is

competent technically with an enormous

knowledge base but a human capital that

has professionalism integrity

trustworthiness compassion and real

compassion for the other humans and a

desire to make a difference by a

contribution to a world full of Wars and

where the divide between the rich and

the poor is becoming bigger and bigger

and as a doctor as a lawyer and as a

scientist these are the degrees that

Australia gave me the opportunity to

acquire at no cost to myself tax payer

funded

now my contribution to Australia and

back to Lebanon is to as a doctor be a

teacher and inspire someone who can make

a difference in someone's life someone

who is significant in someone's life and

to illustrate how we do that is through

the years I have the opportunity to sit

on medical boards that regulate the

conduct of bad misbehaving doctors I had

the opportunity to sit on boards that

regulate the delivery of health services

to disadvantaged people I sit on the

board of four major hospitals and I ran

now a clinical school for the University

of not read on and in terms of what we

instill in our students who are

graduates with degree from any kind of

degree they are philosophers they are

musicians they are accountants in our

school we instill in them those values

including the quest to help the

disadvantaged and in Australia we still

have the challenge of Aboriginal people

having poor health with high morbidity

and high mortality so where we have done

that is by role modelling this is our

school in Australia we're all modelling

what we believe in so I had the

opportunity to be the founder as a

co-founder of an old people home that

often multicultural services including

services to the Lebanese and it's

currently run by the Antonine sisters in

Melbourne it has 60 residential beds the

next thing we did is in 2006 when

Lebanon was bombed our heart bled in

Australia and we formed the Australians

for Lebanon group and we raised through

an evening called Sahara a hundred

thousand dollars that we donated to the

Red Cross in Lebanon and then I came

with a delegation of

Australians lawyer and doctors and we

studied the south of Lebanon the impact

of cluster bombs on the health of the

local community and wrote a report to

the Senate about it which then led to is

it's a generous amount by the Australian

government to help clear the bombs

finally just one more thing

thank you and also it led to a

recommendation for burning of the

indiscriminate effect of cluster bombs

on people's health just as a last thing

I want to share with you that in our

course we value differences as Joe has

already said because we have got

students from all walks of life we've

got musicians we've got philosophers we

have got accountants we have got lawyers

we always value that difference and

included in our teaching so our teaching

is what we call the Socratic way of

teaching where we get people to think

and questions but also share their

talents which enriches the school and

often we start our tutorial by inviting

students for example who are oppressing

us to share their talent so we can start

the tutorial with an aria from an opera

and then that gives us a platform to get

really engrossed in the nitty-gritty

learning and teaching of science having

said that I wish to thank you from the

bottom of my heart for giving me the

opportunity to share it with you by my

associate dean is with me today from not

random University because we like to

make a stronger connection by Lebanon

our university is exploring the

potential of having students from

Lebanon disadvantaged come and study

medicine in our university and we're

exploring funding a scholarship for them

so thank you for that opportunity

thank you very much for the for the

invitation to come and what I'm going to

do today is just to give you a snapshot

of a number of the different studies

that I've done on Lebanese immigration

and business in Australia so um many of

you will be familiar that Lebanese have

been migrating to Australia since the

1880s

and we usually do divide the waves of

migration into four so 1882 World War

one and 1947 to 1966 and then 1967 to 75

and then post-civil war 1900 civil

during the civil wars 1975 to 1990 but

in all the waves immigration to

Australia Lebanese have been

significantly involved in business and

and it and the tendency to

self-employment as as was mentioned by

the previous speaker and I've done it

done a number of studies this is what

I've put up here is actually a study

that I did with the head sheet

Association of Australia looking at

areas of employment and business in the

community and as you can see in this

community snapshot the head sheet

community in Sydney is heavily involved

in the construction in

Street and that that has emerged as a

niche market for them and if we go to

the next slide please

we'll see that 60% of the of the men in

the community are working in

construction mothers still in in the

factory sector in an ER in a significant

proportion and but with the children 20

percent moving into the professions and

then retail so then I was interested

well is this a pattern that we see more

broadly across the Arabic businesses in

Australia and a somewhat different

picture emerge when I looked look more

widely I've just listed here a number of

the different Lebanese Chamber of

Commerce and Arab Chambers of Commerce

many of you represented here today just

to your attention that there's a wide

range of business activity today in

Australia amongst Lebanese and so just

to go to the next slide what I've done

here has looked at 780 different

businesses that are listed in the Arabic

business directory in Australia and we

see a somewhat different pattern in the

clustering and concentration in the

business patterns and what we see if the

number one niche is food and catering

amongst the Arabic businesses and then

the second that's with 26 percent of the

business concentration across the 780

companies and then the second is

weddings the wedding industry and I

guess we shouldn't be too surprised

about the importance of the wedding

industry in Australia amongst the Arabic

businesses when we think how costly

weddings have become and then the third

major area arts and entertainment and

then fourth beauty and personal care so

the next I guess major question that a

lot of research researchers ask about

immigrant self-employment and leaven and

the tendency for Lebanese across

Lebanese the different waves of there

beneath immigration is wine why do

Lebanese 10th

prefer self-employment is it a challenge

or is it an opportunity is it is it a

virtue of necessity or is it a choice

this is one of the questions that

researchers have consistently come back

to and what I find is that it is really

both Lebanese have consistently

encountered in all the different waves

of migration challenges and structural

impediments to their labor force

participation in a number of the

different countries that they have

settled in including Australia and the

most significant impediment they found

in the first wave of Lebanese

immigration to Australia was the White

Australia Policy which actually enacted

in law significant barriers today to

their ability to work in a range of

different professions and to own

property in Australia and this is this

accounted for the types of businesses

that Lebanese then went into in the

first wave so they were significantly

self-employed in Hawkin and then moved

to the country towns in Australia and

had dry goods stores and general stores

and that also was an opportunity because

it was a need for the Australian economy

at that time as as it was it as the

territorial expansion into the country

towns was facilitated by the presence of

Lebanese traders but as we've moved

forward you see in the different waves

that Lebanese consistently find

opportunities new opportunities for

businesses we just go back a slide sorry

so we said with the the had chic

community found a significant niche in

the construction industry and then we

see the emergence of the weddings so so

I will say that it's both a challenge

and an opportunity to be in business but

when I did a number of different

interviews with Lebanese entrepreneurs

in Australia I asked them why why have

they gone into business what is their

main motivation of these were the if we

go back a slide please the four main

motivations were that it's an ambition

and an opportunity but also that running

a business and they will

to hire their family and to work in a

family business and then that the other

driving motivation is that that more

money can be made in business than just

wages and or identifying a gap in the

market and then lastly the the

preference to be your own boss and to

work for yourself and so next slide

please the finally just through what is

success how when I ask that

entrepreneurs how do they measure the

success of their business

what consistently came across from all

of the interviews of that is that making

money isn't isn't the most important

thing they almost all rated having a

successful family as being more

important than just making money alone

and lastly what was the secret to

success so many men have said that it

comes a lot of it actually comes down to

good luck so and I leave you with this

bit with this quote so always in your

life you've got bad luck and good luck

and you can't cry when you've got bad

luck and be happy when you've got good

luck

you have to temp both lose and win

healthy and sick that's how you can live

and be happy so thank you very much

everyone

thank you John the theme of my talk

today is Lebanon's role in the new

emerging markets distinguished guests

ladies and gentlemen allow me to begin

by saying how good it is to be here and

to feel some of the vibration that

existed in this wonderful city Beirut up

to the early 70s a period I look back at

and from which I derive my strength to

move forward with the intention to see

Lebanon back on its feet with the same

vibration and will to play its natural

role on the world stage ever since our

chamber was established 30 years ago it

has always been our desire to see this

magical small country rise and be the

peaceful place be the peaceful and

vibrant business place it was and we all

want it to be we have never ever given

up on Lebanon even in the most difficult

of times and can proudly say that we

have kept a permanent business and

physical presence right here in Beirut

and the most difficult of periods that

Lebanon faced

we have always promoted Beirut as a

launching pad for Australian products

and services in the Middle East region

and beyond in fact and I'm proud to

inform you the wild Lebanon was still

suffering terribly as a result of the

war that was going on the chamber

through seminars and constant meetings

with

with the business community in

Australian government both federal and

state maintained a strong belief in

Lebanon's ability to rise from the ashes

and move forward this strong belief in

Lebanon gained a lot of respect from

both the business community and both the

state and federal governments at present

we are working very closely with major

Australian companies by having them

visit Lebanon to meet with key business

leaders with whom we have a great old

relationship and who are heavily

involved in the Middle East region as a

whole we have a very strong partnership

a business relationship with the

Australian business Chamber which is the

oldest and largest and most effective

chamber in Australia together we work

hand in hand in all matters related to

trade and services and we are currently

working on the 2017 Congress of chambers

of will chambers in Sydney which we

would like the Lebanese to be heavily

involved in we have made a lot of

grounds in promoting Beirut as the ideal

location in most suitable city to launch

Australian products and services in

readiness for the emerging markets in

the region I can honestly tell you that

all the delegations we have so far

brought to Lebanon were highly impressed

with the professionalism of those that

they have met and were able to see for

themselves the great potentials that do

exist definitely there's a lot of hard

work to be done but we are confident

that with perseverance and strong belief

in what we do the end result is positive

for both Lebanon and the Australian

business community I must point out that

we are all well aware that Lebanon's

various problems have accumulated over

the

and must be seriously addressed

particularly in matters related to the

business world where other countries in

the region have developed excellent

modern systems to help the business

community transact with ease and

efficiency although we are aware of

Lebanon's woes the government however

must do all it could to modernize

Lebanon's bureaucratic system in order

to attract the international business

community Lebanon has all the attributes

to make it a great place to transact but

it definitely needs to shape up its

bureaucratic services in all sectors

on another note the chamber has

accompanied the success of promoting and

marketing Lebanese foodstuffs on the

Australian market and there are many

wonderful stories on lebanon lebanese

manufacturers ability to export in the

most difficult periods with the

Chamber's help in logistics right here

in beirut we can proudly say that over

the last 30 years the chamber was behind

the launching of many lebanese products

on the australian market through

exhibitions and promotions among them

the introduction of lebanese wine b and

iraq our ongoing immediate exercise is

to have fresh lebanese produce on the

australian market based on viable

studies and seasonal differences we have

now elevated this exercise to

ministerial level in both ministries of

agriculture in Australia and Lebanon

channeling all correspondence through

the Lebanese Embassy in Canberra and

foreign affairs in Beirut I'm happy to

advise that recently serious meetings in

this regard were held here in Beirut by

an Australian agricultural official

Lebanon foreign affairs and the Lebanese

Ministry of Agriculture had a grey

did a great job in receiving this agree

official this is a major leap forward

and seeing this exercise come to

fruition

while in Beirut I'll be pursuing this

major exercise with all the relevant

parties in the hope we can now move to

execution ladies and gentlemen the

responsibility to see our beloved

homeland be the place we all aspire it

to be lies on all of us and not just

officialdom let us speak out when

necessary but not always concentrating

on the negative and not seeing the

positive aspects Lebanon has proved time

and again that it has a tremendous will

to survive in a never-ending desire and

appetite for peaceful good living I must

also mention that regardless of the

great help of those in the in the

Diaspora Lebanon wouldn't have survived

if it weren't for our people that

remained here right here in Lebanon and

faced all the wars and hardships that

this small country have suffered over

the years

I must conclude by saying that Lebanon

has a great friend called Australia this

wonderful land that have received our

people with open arms over the last 150

years deserve our deep respect the

performance of Australia's ambassador to

Lebanon mr. Glen Myles is a living proof

of this great relationship ladies and

gentlemen let us resolve to work

together hand in hand for the well-being

of our people and this wonderful

homeland avails lebanon thank you when I

come to Lebanon I get very emotional so

I forget about writing speeches I spoke

from the heart that's my country here

mr. Bassel what an amazing man you are

thank you from the bottom of my heart

for uniting us for the second time in

Lebanon from across the world a big

gratitude goes to you

Minister Allen Hakim I acknowledge you

for the the strength of will you have to

deal with lot of challenges that

Lebanon's going through economically and

by no means it takes a lot of talent and

will envision to deal with it so again I

congratulate you as well

ambassador Glenn miles our people of

Lebanon the panelists

ladies and gentlemen I'm just gonna

share my story as it is with you I think

this is the best way I could pass a

message about Lebanon and Australia I

left Australia the first time with my

family

I was one year old my mom died one week

before our departure to Australia she

was going to Australia to meet her

parents and she didn't make it my father

continued his migration process and we

stayed for four years and my father

decided to come back to Lebanon we came

back to Lebanon and regretfully one year

later the brought the war broke out the

civil war broke out and so we had to

experience displacement tragedies a very

unforgiving civil war that thousands and

thousands of Lebanese were wasted

however what I learned during that

process of time is I learned resilience

I learned faith in God

I learned faith in my country and those

elements I took with me to Australia and

they were the access of my success in

Australia we left Lebanon 1984 Lebanon

was in a very bad shape we left from the

port here lost to Beirut on a boat to

Cyprus I can never forget the image of

leper Beirut being completely torn about

by constant selling so that last scene

remained in my heart in my vision up to

day and that's why I decided when I

arrived to in Australia the land of

opportunities that I will do my utmost

to also look after my country of origin

Lebanon Australia has been great to our

family and great to all the Lebanese

diaspora they house over 500,000 of

lebanese origin

they gave us unlimited opportunities and

also gave us an a purchase to achieve of

course our dreams I arrived in Australia

I did the last two years of my secondary

education I didn't even know who the

Prime Minister of Australia was six

years later I was lecturing in law and

university I taught over 7,000 students

from Australian community in law the

first opportunity I got and a few years

later I established with my brothers the

fastest growing in Australia the zookie

group employing over 6,000 Australians

over the years establishing over 270

stores across Australia and I'm very

proud to say I came back to my country

Lebanon and establish a store in the

case Lake here in Lebanon as well

Australia has given us a lot to learn it

taught us to be fair to be forgiving to

accept others to have the Liberty and

your liberty stops at others liberties

but also Australia taught us never ever

to forgive forget your country of origin

they encouraged us to keep our values

they encouraged us to be entrepreneurs

they encouraged us to stay in contact

and they embedded that those values in

their own legal system and how could I

help Lebanon I asked them myself that

question I started doing that in the at

university we started the first

University Club Lebanese Club at

University in the history of Australia

where we gathered together about 60

students to basically join together to

try and promote Lebanon in a far more

positive way than it was in the 80s and

to get quorum we needed about 80 so we

cheated we got 10 more Chinese to join

us to get the numbers so that we can

sign that club visa fee that we also

established a Chamber of Commerce in

Victoria the Chamber of Commerce played

a very active role in order to build an

economic bridge between Australia and

Lebanon we felt business is the only way

that we can bring the two nations

together we also felt that's the only

way we can help Lebanon rise over its

political economic and social

difficulties is to support Lebanon

economically and we also note that the

biggest fear Lebanon experienced over

this period of time especially in our

recent times is the economic terrorist

and a lot of countries are trying to

impose on Lebanon and we refused that

cut early and we have done many trade

missions we have signed many ammo use

including the Beirut Chamber of Commerce

and Industry Tripoli chopper Chamber of

Commerce and Industry and the the

International Lebanese Business Council

and also halfa in France as well and

we've done many events to try promote

revenue positively encourage business

between the two nations as my colleague

indicated earlier we also promote

Lebanon as a platform for East Africa

and the Gulf region we also tell the

Australians that they are over 15

million live lebanese origin around the

world they are wheeling and dealing one

way or the other and you need them to

incite business into the nation as far

as far as the Lebanese coming to

Australia is a great place for

investment as I said I am a living

testimony our success is purely and only

purely for the support Australia has

given us and the opportunities Riley has

given us so today I have put together an

idea to our Minister and that is to try

and launch an internship international

chamber house in Lebanon what I felt is

that in order for a desperate to come

back to Lebanon families will only come

back if they have a house in Lebanon

single people will only come back if

they have a relationship in Lebanon

and business people would come back of

course through the efforts of the

chambers that here but if you want the

chambers of commerce from around the

world to come here and become proactive

in the Lebanese economy you must give

them a residence and this is where the

idea stems from so I thank the Minister

of Commerce and the Minister of Foreign

Ministry for the support and

acknowledging the idea and would like to

invite them to witness this declaration

today

Mohammed is me a show cat Missal my name

is Sydney Australia mashaallah Australia

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consulate in Sydney hot dog has blond

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balladeer to return the album Rodney

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Holly and Anna the massive opposition

whip an imodium Shawn and Mohammed Rafi

measures sure when he Alicia of a new

kun men assault Danny and Asif normal

rockin Moroccan do share capital vaca

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who would mankind and nature elk on land

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holla Angela de anza pot-stirrer a lot

shot Hamlet Act II halal Haram hasatan

and an olive be Australia nationally I

mean of memmio Satine and his reality

natasha natashas Eric and Bill Vieira

and nest to serve Allah Australia we

Australia struggle ooh

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imagine at rehearsal on the CSI

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professor Mary machine NASA had be to

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Muhammad al-mustafa Huey Meno Lebanon

Anthony Rossano je veux que el Moussa

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Ben Horne opened most Arab in the Adamo

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Minister Zhu Bobby Seale dear friend mr.

ambassador the panelists ladies and

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mohammed al hroub Nani jelly a toast

apart Allan Houston a lost rally the

topes and favor for a senatorial avocado

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wall dr. Cydia Wallace Mary a banal

paradigm water bill Theodore Allanon

Australia has a flow occur Mohammed

diplomacy adept Cydia latina malbim

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famosa dual Harlem wale after an Malin

has ilmu by de varela little Michelle

Amalia the whole buffet Adele Harlow

Tony Alessio an ill-omened root are a

capital o Sadat Warwick it a La Nina

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strata filled nan mr. Glen miles

thank you

a la edamame fitori a la carte Mustafa

been burden or chuckle Akbar well kids I

Don Lorenzo Fertitta Alison Australia

Luke Nana fat uzuki as Civic our Inagua

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loose trolley a loop denia well here

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Jewish girl will Wazir a so weak and

mashite al-habib Ruben Bassel Elysee

Alessia Pumbaa move out there to check

kill wha ha ha ha resume ooh the CSE

wall dr. sadi well luckily me Alessia

issue whoo look man if you allow me if I

have time I could say two words two

minutes to me just two minutes just to

to give my modest opinion about what I

heard today from the panelists I want to

be clear on that level I'm always having

the same speech to all who's coming to

the Ministry of Economy Intuit it's time

now to invest in Lebanon as said fat

uzuki there is a saying in French that

says when a vesti us on the canoe we

invest at the sounds of cannons there is

no cannons in Lebanon we just need a

little bit of peace of mind the problem

is not the cows around us

it's the cows inside us and we should

find solutions bassoonists and people

like him can't find solution and the

soonest also so we are counting on young

ministers on initiatives to allow us to

reach safe shows the soonest I want I

just want to remind everyone that in

2006 growth was about 0.3% 0.3% in 2007

it reached 7.5%

in ten month time so Lebanese potential

Lebanese capacities are huge and which

we should take advantage of it today

expected growth for the next three

months they use excuse me is about 1.8

percent above average European average

so potential is here we should enjoy it

we should take advantage of it without

you we cannot do anything we are

counting also a new

counting on the diplomacy because

ministers and ambassadors comes and goes

what but what remains our businessmen so

let's give a huge applause to for uzuki

thank you very much

Oh