IFP Group (International Fairs & Promotions) announced today the launch of the 21st edition of Project Lebanon, the International Trade Exhibition for Construction Materials and Equipment for Lebanon and the Middle East. Welcoming more than 450 local, regional, and international companies, the exhibition will be held at BIEL, Beirut, from May 31 to June 3, 2016.
The launch of the event took place during a press conference held at the Ministry of Economy and Trade, in the presence of HE Dr. Alain Hakim, IFP Group Chairman and General Manager Mr. Albert Aoun, Mr. Henri Castorès, Director Business France Liban, and Mrs. Marina Giangrande, ICE/ITA Director (Italian Trade Agency). Representatives from different Embassies in Lebanon and a group of commercial delegations from the participating countries were also present.
HE Dr. Alain Hakim, Minister of Economy and Trade
HE Minister Dr. Hakim said that the construction sector “is witnessing a tangible growth in the real estate development and cement delivery this year compared to 2015, although the Lebanese economy is stressed by both internal and regional pressures that are weighing down on major economic sectors, especially the huge inflow of Syrian refugees”. Hakim stressed that “we ought to encourage the construction sector, an essential pillar of the Lebanese economy and which accounts for over 20% of the country’s GDP.”
“We, at the Ministry of Economy and Trade, consider the construction industry to be an essential sector and encourage every initiative like Project Lebanon, which aims at growing and developing this sector. Initiatives like Project Lebanon contribute to the launch of new projects, boost export and investment, and thus put the economic wheel in motion. Keeping in mind that it is necessary for these activities to be conducted transparently and within the framework of protecting the consumer, which we consider our top priority”, Minister Hakim added.
Mr. Henri Castorès, Director of the Business France office in Lebanon
In turn, Mr. Castorès indicated that “France is celebrating its 9th participation in Project Lebanon, and our presence with 20 companies is evidence of the interest of French building, construction, and energy professionals in this event.”
The French Pavilion, the biggest international pavilion at the show, “is distinguished by the diversity and innovation offered and the know-how of its exhibitors” in numerous areas including building, engineering, construction material, LED lighting, alarm systems, automation technologies, wireless energy, etc.
Castorès added: “France is among the first commercial partners of Lebanon. The volume of the commercial exchanges between Lebanon and France reached € 1.05 billion in 2015, France being the 4th supplier to Lebanon with a 6% market share. French enterprises, particularly SMBs, have solid positions in Lebanon. They dominate the French export to Lebanon… This specifically applies to the construction and building industry, especially that the market is eager for and open to innovation and quality.”
Concerning the Lebanese market, Castorès contended that it is open and integrated worldwide. “Lebanon presents itself as a business platform towards regional and African markets through and because of the vitality of Lebanese people! Lebanon is a source of opportunities for companies; a supplementary reason for the French participation in the exhibition.”
The Director of Business France Liban concluded: “Briefly, it is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the French Pavilion, and you can count on us to introduce you to the directors of the participating enterprises, who are all ready to meet with you to exchange and establish long-lasting and fruitful business relations.”
Mrs. Marina Giangrande, Director of the ITA/ICE office in Lebanon
Mrs. Marina Giangrande, Director ITA/ICE – Italian Trade Agency, announced that this year marks Italy’s 10th consecutive participation in Project Lebanon, asserting that the show remains extremely relevant for the development of the construction sector in both countries.
The Italian Pavilion will host 8 exhibitors on a 200 SQM space, 5 of which are approaching Lebanon for the first time, and 3 exhibitors returning from previous years. Despite the overall economic situation and the strong competition from emerging markets, the Italian exhibitors are interested and confident in the opportunities offered in Lebanon.
Giangrande continued that in order “to support the Italian participation in Project Lebanon, ICE/ITA planned an advertisement campaign covering the major local media. We also carry out, she added, direct marketing actions, targeting more than 2,000 businessmen and opinion leaders in the Lebanese building and construction industry and we will publish our usual brochure grouping the Italian companies.”
The ICE/ITA Director concluded by stating that Italy is the first supplier in Europe and the second in the world behind China, with the Italian exports accounting for a 7% market share with a value of USD 1.3 billion.
Mr. Albert Aoun, Chairman of IFP Group
IFP Group Chairman expressed the Group’s excitement about the latest additions to the 21st edition of Project Lebanon. Following its path of continuous evolvement and with the same momentum visitors are used to, Project Lebanon 2016 is welcoming more than 450 companies from 20 countries: Belgium, Belarus, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates
Waste Management Conference (EcOrient 2016)
Mr. Aoun added that “like previous years, the exhibition is held concurrently with two specialized events: Energy Lebanon 2016, the 6th International Trade Exhibition for Power, Electrical Engineering, Alternative Energy, Lighting and HVAC, and the Waste Management Conference (EcOrient 2016), dedicated to exploring solutions for Lebanon’s current waste crisis. The panel discussion, welcoming OMSAR and UNIDO representatives as well as numerous public and private stakeholders, will focus on solid waste management and different types of recycling from e-waste to plastics.”
Forum: Lebanon’s opportunities and challenges in the reconstruction of Syria
Following the opening of Project Lebanon on May 31st, IFP Group is organizing a specialized forum about Lebanon’s Opportunities and Challenges in the Reconstruction of Syria in order to explore international efforts in the reconstruction and development of the Syrian infrastructure, discuss the available possibilities and options to launch construction projects, and debate Lebanon’s expected role in this context.
The panel is welcoming the United Nations (UN) organizations involved in the Syrian situation including representatives of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which initiated the “National Agenda for the Future of Syria” program in order to examine the concrete development needs for the recovery of Syria. In addition, a select group of leading architects, contractors, businesspeople, and investors from Lebanon and Syria, as well as Arab and international diplomats and government officials are participating in the discussion.
Project Lebanon is held concurrently with the 6th International Trade Exhibition for Power, Electrical Engineering, Alternative Energy, Lighting, HVAC, Water and Environmental Technologies, Energy Lebanon 2016.
The organizers aim at increasing Project Lebanon’s general specialization, allowing all participants (exhibitors and visitors) to serve all their business needs, and guaranteeing the biggest number of profiles in the show. In other words, engineers, contractors, project managers, and all stakeholders will have the opportunity to source new products, equipment, and technology: ranging from ceramics to stone, wood and wooden products, metal products, elevators, security products, plastics and piping products, and construction-related material on one hand, to lighting, electro-mechanic products and equipment, HVAC, generators, electricity and alternative energy technology and solutions, water, environmental and green technologies, on the other.
The Live Demonstration Theater will be a major highlight for Project Lebanon 2016. It is a unique opportunity for visitors to engage with exhibitors showcasing and launching their products and services, and to witness live demonstrations of the latest technologies in the industry.
Another major highlight is the Innovative Pavilion: a collaboration between Project Lebanon and Engineering and Architecture faculties from across Lebanon, intended to offer young and talented Lebanese students a unique platform to present their innovative ideas and carry their projects to fruition in the presence of the industry’s leaders and decision-makers.
Project Lebanon 2016 will also include a dedicated B2B Matchmaking Platform, carefully designed to ensure both visitors and exhibitors meet the right partners, in addition to a VIP Lounge providing quick access and privacy.