This year, Project Lebanon 2012 is held concurrently with other specialized events; Energy Lebanon 2012, The International Trade Exhibition for Electricity, Water technology, Lighting and HVAC and EcOrient 2012, The International Trade Exhibition & Conference for Environmental Technologies, Sustainability, Alternative Energy, Water Technology and Clean Energy which is held in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris (CCIP) , and with the support of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and is the first specialized event of its kind in Lebanon.
On this occasion, ifpinfo had the following interview with Mr Jean-Paul VERMES, Vice-President Education Department of Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris (CCIP).
Q. When was the Paris Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris or CCIP) established, what development stages did the Chamber go through, and what is its mission now?
A. Founded in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, CCIP’s mission includes four major tasks:
– Representing the interests of public companies
– Supporting companies in their development by providing a variety of assistance and advice including: setting up a company, business development, legal and economic information, e.g. on international expansion.
– Training managers and executives in 11 schools that are owned and ran by CCIP.
– Promoting the image of the Paris Region as an international business hub and centre of excellence in the field of exhibitions and conferences.
CCIP represents 400,000 businesses in Paris and its neighborhood, and starting January 2013, it will become a Regional Chamber.
Q. Do you only deal with trade and technical education, or you have other goals like protecting the environment in the Paris region, France and elsewhere?
A. In addition to its primary missions, CCIP works closely with the French government and regional authorities. CCIP carries out an advisory role and regularly publishes reports on urban planning and business life in the Paris-Ile de France region.
Eco activities, also known as ‘clean technologies’, add up to a turnover of 17 billion euros in the Paris region, or 47 per cent of turnover in France and 2.4 per cent of turnover in Europe. The Paris region is the leading hub for clean technologies in France, with more than 112,000 people and over 1,100 organizations working in the industry out of 420,000 nationally.
It’s a priority for Regional Council of Ile de France (CRIF) to transform the Ile-de-France region into the “first eco-region” of Europe. Thus we follow and implement the plan according to PICC regional eco-activities financed by the central and regional authorities and participate in steering committees and various technical committees. We contribute to the implementation of actions brought by other partners in promoting the plan with the companies in our territory and relaying all the measures in the plan.
Q. What are the reasons that encouraged you to collaborate with IFP in organizing the EcOrient show?
IFP Group is the leading organizer of international exhibitions and conferences in the Middle East and has an extensive network in the countries of this region. In addition, in the past we have successfully worked together on forming the French Pavilion at Project Lebanon exhibition.
Q. Why did you choose Beirut to launch your awareness campaign in the Middle East?
A. Historically, France has always sought a special relationship with Lebanon. Moreover, CCIP’s relations with Lebanon are old and sustained. In addition to the ESA the School of Business and Management established in Beirut in 1996, the CCIP has a large institutional network (CCIde of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Embassy of Lebanon and Ubifrance Lebanon) followed by various missions and fairs. Finally, Lebanon has high potential to develop renewable energy sources. Today, environmental practices are expected to witness real development with the approval of the power sector reform proposed by the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water, which ensures that by 2020, 12% of the energy produced in Lebanon will rely on renewable energy and alternative resources.
Q. What are your expectations for the EcOrient show and conference?
A. – We believe that Lebanon presents a market with great potential for renewable energy. The strong participation of Lebanese companies to this first edition of EcOrient is a proof of this statement.
– As participants in the conference, we want to promote French expertise on solar power (by TOTAL), on water treatment (by Veolia Water and the International Office for Water) and on investment (by ANIMA).
– Finally, we hope that this exhibition will provide real added-value to the eco-activities in Lebanon taking into account that ECORIENT is the first exhibition dedicated to the theme of sustainable development in this country.