BEIRUT: Lebanon is seeking to reinforce business ties with its Diaspora, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Thursday at the inauguration of the “DiasporaID”, an electronic platform that brings together leading members of different industries both at home and abroad.
The initiative seeks to diminish the geographical barriers hindering further collaborative action while capitalizing on the large potential that Lebanon’s Diaspora holds.
The virtual network, which was funded by a $1 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant, aims to create a platform which strives to enable the contribution of the Lebanese Diaspora to employment and economic growth within Lebanon.
Speaking at the event held at the Grand Serail, Hariri voiced hope in the new platform, saying “DiasporaID has created an unimaginable opportunity for Lebanese across the globe; its possibilities are endless.”
The project was implemented by consultancy group Netways; and according to Managing Partner Roula Moussa, its purpose is twofold. It serves a nostalgic function by providing users abroad with information regarding their ancestral villages and hometowns. Users will also have the opportunity to list their different wants and needs in terms of forthcoming projects connecting them with suppliers.
Moussa’s aim in creating the platform is to “provide Lebanon’s expats with an opportunity to give back to their country of origin,” while catering to small and medium companies which make up around 93% percent of all businesses in Lebanon.
Elizabeth Richard, US ambassador to Lebanon, reiterated Hariri’s sentiment, outlining the importance of promoting and expanding the role that the Diaspora can play in maintaining Lebanon’s economic prosperity.
“This platform will help Lebanese Americans and Lebanese around the globe strengthen their connection to their communities of origin, all the while providing opportunities to create jobs, raise funds for local projects and provide mentoring for young people,” said Richard at the launch event.
In essence, the project aims to promote Lebanese expats’ goods and services, while harboring investments within Lebanon and initiating positive changes through an easily accessible platform.
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