3rd Annual International Business Conference
"Current Issues in Business and Information Technology"
On May 10, 2006, for the 3rd consecutive year, the Business Conference, on "Current Issues in Business and Information Technology," took place with great success.
The conference, organized by the department of Business Administration and Economics, in cooperation with the department of Mathematical Sciences, with 11 participants from different universities, dealt with important business issues in finance, trade, exchange rates, optimization of production, career development, franchise contracts, and information technology.
The organizers of the conference had assembled an impressive program of research papers which fostered a lively dialogue among academicians, public sector officials, and business and information technology professionals.
At the opening session, the Dean of Business Administration and Economics Dr. Fadi Asrawi welcomed the audience, and tackled the issue of transformation and competition.
"Nowadays transformation is taking place in the relationship between universities and business, as universities rise to the challenge of the knowledge-driven economy. Lebanon is far from competing with its surroundings in terms of capital, technology or low cost production. As a result; we must seek a competitive advantage by exploiting capabilities which cannot easily match. These distinctive capabilities must be knowledge, skills, creativity and leadership," Asrawi said.
In his turn, the president of the university Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian explained his understanding of conferences.
"Academic conferences are, among other things, conversations during which resourceful parties not only share knowledge and expertise with others but also open themselves up to their partners. Conferences are also occasions for beneficial change. And finally conferences are a challenge to the people in academia to study further, research, and produce," Haidostian noted.
The first keynote speaker, the vice-governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Mr. Alain Balian discussed the need of Lebanon for a new vision in politics and economics, in order to foster economic growth and higher living conditions.
Balian explained that investment in the country constitutes the main generator of production and growth.
"Transparency in Public Service, in addition to Meritocracy in public officials appointments, are the basis of improvement in public service delivery and attracting investors," Balian explained.
Balian concluded his speech by emphasizing on the opportunity that Lebanon should grasp, given the unprecedented international economic supported granted to it.
The 2nd keynote speaker, the director general of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Alain Biffany had for subject the Monetary Policy of Lebanon: Problems and Recommendations.
Biffany considered that the main obstacle to economic advancement is the absence of accountability towards politicians and public sector officials.
He elaborated that the role of governments, historically, were to distribute rights equally
among citizens, except that in Lebanon, the role of government after the war was in a way fostering the concentration of rights among the ruling class, which resulted in political and economic tensions among citizens, thus forcing them to emigrate.
"Reform should be organic and general covering all sectors of the public service. It needs a strong political will and determination, coupled with tremendous public support and accountability," Biffany concluded.
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