PM: Lebanon should learn from Egypt's economic development

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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, right, and his Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouly, left, arrive to attend the opening session of the Arab Economic Forum in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, May 2, 2019. The forum is taking place amid an economic crisis in Lebanon, which is suffering from slow growth, a high budget deficit and massive debt. The Lebanese government is holding open-ended sessions to discuss to approve the country's draft austerity budget. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's prime minister says his country should learn from the government of Egypt how to stimulate economic growth, reform laws and combat corruption.

Lebanon's economy is struggling with soaring debts, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri is debating an austerity budget and key reforms with the aim of unlocking billions of dollars in pledged foreign assistance. Protests have criticized the planned measures.

Hariri spoke at a Beirut forum Thursday attended by Egyptian and Arab officials.

The government of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has implemented structural reforms since 2014 that pushed the economy of the Arab world's largest country toward some of its highest growth rates in years. But the reforms have been coupled with an intense crackdown on dissent and major price hikes.