A meeting for the stakeholders of the Tripoli International Conference and Exhibition (TICE), which took place during the first week of March 2019, gathered prominent decision makers in Lebanon and the North Governorate in specific.
Participants stressed the importance of Tripoli in the coming years with an emphasis on the expansion of the port, the newly established Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), and the approved projects funded by CEDRE. The discussion went further to touch upon the strategic importance of Tripoli for Syria’s reconstruction.
The structure and dual purpose of the 500,000m2 free zone was a focal point of discussions during the meeting. Contrasted with a standard free zone, the main goal of TSEZ is to develop the city by creating jobs. It is designed to be a hybrid between Jebal Ali Free Zone and Dubai Internet City, rather than being a logistics and shipping hub.
Participants showed special interest in the potential of the free zone to serve as an assembly and light manufacturing area for imported goods. This allows for the creation of jobs and the availability of lower cost/high quality finished goods in the Lebanese market, with potential for regional distribution.
The expansion of the Port of Tripoli was also a key topic, as participants discussed its significance being the deepest port in the area and the recently-announced hub for the China Line at CMA CGM. Furthermore, the expansion project includes an 80-meter dry dock which would ease the backlog in other ports and bring more traffic to Tripoli.
The Port of Tripoli would gain ever more prominence once negotiations are finalized for the creation of a railway linking the port to the Syrian Border, and eventually to the regional railway in Syria.
Against the backdrop of Rosneft’s new acquisition of the refinery in Tripoli, and its conversion into an oil storage area, participants discussed the greater implications of developments in the region’s oil and gas sector. They highlighted the need for specialized vocational training and education centers, taking into account the inflow of international companies which will need to hire skilled and certified labor.
Participants also addressed the apparent lack of a developed hospitality sector in the city which could be remedied by the establishment of two or more 3-star and 4-star hotels.
The Tripoli International Conference and Exhibition, taking place from 27 November to 1 December 2019 at the Rashid Karami International Exhibition Center, focuses on the following sectors:
- Vocational Education
- Oil & Gas, and Energy
- Digital Ecosystem
- Manufacturing, Assembly, and Light Industries
- Infrastructure; with subsections for Construction, Water, and Waste Management
For more information, visit www.tripoli2019.com