Lebanon Economic Forum  
Main Speakers
  • H.E. Mr. Michel Pharaon
    Minister of Tourism, Lebanon
  • H.E. Mr. Michel Pharaon

    H.E. Michel Pharon is currently the Minister of Tourism.

    H.E. was elected for three times as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs (2000-2003, 2005-2008 and 2009-2011).

    H.E. is also Chairman of Libano Swiss Group and Chairman of Pharaon Holding Group. He is also Board Member of: LBC, Globe Med Group, Commerce du Levant magazine and L'Orient Le Jour. He is also Honorary President of the Lebanese Chess Federation.

    H.E. holds a degree in economics from St. Joseph University and MBA degree from Dauphine University in Paris.

  • H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour
    Former Minister of Finance, Lebanon
  • H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour

    H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour is Managing Director of Inventis Partners - a Private Equity Firm, with investments in MENA and Europe. Until recently, H.E. Azour was a V.P. - Senior Executive Advisor at Booz & Company, actively involved in consulting governments, public sector organizations, central banks, financial sector and institutions, and large international corporations.

    He was recently appointed by the Board of the World Bank, member of the Independent Panel of Experts to review a broad range of issues around the Doing Business and Global Competitiveness.

    He was previously Minister Finance of Lebanon for three years (2005 - 2008), where he spearheaded the economic and financial program of the Lebanese Government, and coordinated the implementation of the various policies and reform initiatives, led the preparation and the implementation of the Paris III International Conference for Lebanon, gathered more than 45 countries and IFIs, and raised USD 7.6 billion of support.

    H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour also conducted a comprehensive modernization and reform agenda in the Ministry of Finance which was granted in 2007 the prestigious “United Nations Public Service Award”.

    He occupied senior positions in government, UNDP, and in leading private sector companies (including McKinsey and Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Compagnie de Saint-Gobain). He also consulted for the IMF, the World Bank and the EU. He published more than five books and several articles on economic and financial issues in international publications and academic journals, and has a long teaching experience at the American University of Beirut.

    H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour obtained his PhD in International Finance from Harvard University and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, France. H.E. Dr. Azour also holds an M.Phil. (DEA) in International Finance.

  • H.E. Adnan Kassar
    General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture For Arab Countries
  • H.E. Adnan Kassar

    H.E. Adnan Kassar is currently The Chairman of the General Union of Arab Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries.

    H.E. is also the chairman of Fransabank and Board Member of the Association of Banks in Lebanon.

    H.E. Kassar is a former Minister of state & Minister of Economy and trade in Lebanon

    H.E. Holds a degree in law from The University of Saint Joseph, Lebanon

  • Dr. Francois Bassil
    Association of Banks in Lebanon
  • Dr. Francois Bassil

    Dr. Francois Bassil is currently the President of the Association of Banks in Lebanon and the Chairman-General Manager of Byblos Bank S.A.L., one of the leading Lebanese banks.

    Dr. Bassil’s achievements include the promotion of Byblos Bank name outside of Lebanon, namely in Europe where the bank has been maintaining a presence for the last 30 years and then in Sudan and Syria where operations started in August 2004 and December 2005 respectively. More recently, the bank has developed a presence in Iraq and Armenia in 2007, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010. The Bank has also had a representative office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, since 2005, as well as a representative office in Lagos, Nigeria, since 2009.

    Dr. Bassil lead the success and growth of the bank in Lebanon where, since he assumed the CEO position in 1979, the bank grew from a mid-sized locally based entity to a regional force, with a capital base of USD 1,939 million and total assets of USD 18,486 million as at 31st December 2013. Today, Byblos Bank S.A.L. is listed on the Beirut Stock Market and has the largest number of shareholders compared to other Lebanese banks.

    Throughout his professional career, Dr. François Bassil received many honorary distinctions, among them the “Ordre de la Couronne Belge” accorded by H.M. King Albert II, King of Belgium; and Chevalier de l’Ordre de St. Grégoire Le Grand, accorded by "Le Saint Père Jean-Paul II"; and the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman decorates Dr. Bassil as Commander in “National Order of the Cedars”.

    In 2008 Dr. Bassil has been awarded a “Doctorate Honoris Causa” by the Lebanese American University (LAU) and in 2010 the Universite Saint-Esprit Kaslik (USEK) awarded him a “Doctorate Honoris Causa” in Business. In May 2012, he was honored by the “Arab Economic Forum” held in Beirut the award of “Leadership in Achievement”.

    He holds a Doctoral Degree in Law from the Catholic University of Louvain, in Belgium.

  • HE Dr. Abdullah Al Kuwaiz
    Economist and Former Ambassador
  • HE Dr. Abdullah Al Kuwaiz

    H.E. El Kuwaiz is currently the Chairman of El Kuwaiz Economic and Financial Consultants, KSA.

    H.E. was Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Bahrain and the Former Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs at the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf - Secretariat General. He held several leading positions in the Ministry of Finance and National Economy of Saudi Arabia and was the General Manager of the Gulf International Bank, BSC. and the Executive Director Representing Saudi Arabia at the Arab Monetary Fund and the Chairman of Saudi Cement Company.

    H.E. was also a member of the Saudi Arabian Delegation to a number of International Islamic and Arab Summits.

    H.E. El Kuwaiz holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economic and Political Science from King Saud University in Riyadh, Master’s degree in Social Sciences with concentration on Economics from the Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, and PhD in Economics from St. Louis University in Missouri, USA.

    - الدكتور عبد الله القويز يشغل حالياً منصب رئيس القويز - استشارات اقتصادية ومالية.

    - تولى سابقاً منصب سفير المملكة العربية السعودية في البحرين ومنصب مساعد الأمين العام للشؤون الاقتصادية في مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية.

    - شغل عدة مناصب في وزارة المالية والاقتصاد الوطني في المملكة العربية السعودية حيث كان محللاً اقتصادياً ثم خبيراً اقتصادياً ثم مستشاراً ثم وكيلاً مساعداً.

    - شغل سابقاً منصب مدير عام بنك الخليج الدولي البحرين. وعمل محافظاً مندوباً ممثلاً للمملكة العربية السعودية في مجلس المديرين التنفيذيين لصندوق النقد العربي. كما شغل منصب رئيس مجلس إدارة شركة الإسمنت السعودية.

    - كان عضوأ في وفد المملكة العربية السعودية حيث شارك في عدد من القمم الدولية الإسلامية والعربية.

    - الدكتور القويز حائز على شهادة البكالوريوس في الاقتصاد والعلوم السياسية من جامعة الملك سعود في الرياض وشهادة الماجستير في العلوم الاجتماعية مع التركيز على مجال الاقتصاد من جامعة Pacific Lutheran في تاكوما وشهادة الدكتوراه في الاقتصاد من جامعة سان لويس في ميسوري في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.



The state of political uncertainty and current economic challenges prevailing in the Arab world necessitate an in depth discussion of the existing and upcoming challenges & prospects and a particular focus on the cross economic relations between the various Arab countries to be addressed by policy makers, leading business, finance and investment figures.

Debating these critical issues and concerns will constitute the Third Lebanon Economic Forum’s key topics of discussion.

The forum is to take place on the 8th of March 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut-Lebanon, under the high patronage of H.E. The President of the Republic of Lebanon, General Michel Suleiman, and will witness an extensive participation of ministers of key sectors, government officials, business and investment leaders, and experts from Lebanon, Arab and neighboring countries.

2012 Highlights:

Achievement awards at LEF Mar 13th, 2014
During the LEF opening ceremony Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal honored Mr. Adnan Yousif, CEO of Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) and Majid Al Futtaim Properties which was received by Mr. Waddah Al Solh, General Manager of Majed Al Futtaim Properties (M ...
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500 participants at the Lebanese Economic Forum Mar 8th, 2014
Held under the patronage and with the participation of HE President Michel Sleiman, the Lebanese Economic forum set off its proceedings at the Four Seasons hotel in the presence of 500 Lebanese and Arab figures. The forum witnessed high le ...
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