International Fairs & Promotions (IFP Group) announced during a press conference at “Gefinor Rotana" hotel in Beirut, the launch of the seventeenth edition of Project Lebanon 2012, the International Construction Trade Exhibition for Lebanon and the Middle East, which will be held under the auspices of HE the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Najib Mikati, at BIEL, downtown Beirut between 5 and 8 June, where 800 local, regional and international companies will participate.
At the press conference, the Chairman & CEO of IFP Group, Mr. Albert Aoun, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon and President of The Federation of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon, Mr. Mohamed Choucair, addressed the audience before giving the floor to the Director of UBIFRANCE office, from the French Embassy, Mr. Nicolas Vassitch, the Trade Commissioner at the Italian Embassy, Mr. Giussepe Federico, the Head of Trade Promotion Sector at the Brazilian Embassy, Mr. Rodolfo Riebeiro, and Commercial Attaché at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Jonas Wieseneker.
Opening the conference, Mr. Choucair expressed his enthusiasm for the occasion saying "this conference is a solid expression of the continuing support of the Chamber to the exhibition for the last 17 years, which has benefited the construction sector in particular and contributed to the growth of the Lebanese economy as a whole, a benefit which cannot be ignored and which manifests itself through Arab and foreign investments in the construction and real estate sectors in Lebanon with the launching of new projects, and providing employment opportunities for the Lebanese".
Mr. Choucair continued that the real estate market in Lebanon, "was a safe haven for local and Arab investments in the last years," and expected this to continue in the foreseeable future in light of current developments in the region.”
In his turn, Mr. Aoun said "the construction and real estate development sectors finished the first quarter of this year with a solid performance showing an improvement over the same period last year, with an 8% increase in real estate sales, and a 12% increase in the average value per transaction. Furthermore, the number of real estate sales to foreigners rose by 16%” adding that this is an important indication that investors from the region still find safe havens in the Lebanese market even in times of crisis.
Mr. Aoun linked the continuous growth witnessed by the construction and real estate sectors in Lebanon and the region generally, to the Group’s efforts in developing the exhibition qualitatively and quantitatively by saying "the exhibition records this year a remarkable growth of 20% in exhibition space covering 30 thousand square meters at BIEL’s main exhibition hall and the surrounding grounds, which will welcome more than 800 local, regional and international companies from 25 countries including 16 national pavilions."
"Project Lebanon" is part of a series of international trade exhibitions specialized in the construction sector which International Fairs & Promotions organizes in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iraq. Project Lebanon is the largest and most important trade event of its kind in Lebanon, and is the undisputed leader reflected by the continuing growth that the exhibition has witnessed and the participation of all national companies operating in the field of construction materials, equipment and services.
As for the international participation, the 16 national pavilions include countries participating for the first time such as the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece and Korea while other countries take part each year such as Belgium, Brazil China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
"Project Lebanon" 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.
Concurrently, the 4th edition of "Lebanon Sustainability Week" will be held on 6 and 7 June in cooperation with the Order of Engineers & Architects in Beirut, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and Lebanon Green Building Council (LGBC), and will host a number of national and international experts to discuss and debate the environmental challenges in Lebanon and the region, and offering appropriate solutions.
The objectives behind the clear segmentation of the exhibitions is to allow entrepreneurs, contractors and other professionals to carefully identify their needs within each exhibition, and to allow exhibitors to clearly showcase and add value to their products and services within the designated exhibition. In turn, the exhibition halls are divided in specialized sections, where a visitor to Project Lebanon will encounter sections for sanitary ware, ceramic, stone and concrete, wood and wood products, metals, elevators, security and safety, plastic tubes, dyes, paints, and construction machinery. The Energy Lebanon exhibition includes sections for lighting, electro-mechanical, gas, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, generators, and electricity. The EcOrient hall is devoted entirely to technologies, products and solutions to reduce carbon emission, waste treatment, water management and conservation of water resources, and other environmental and green solutions.
It is estimated that a record number of professionals exceeding 30 thousand comprising engineers, architects, contractors, entrepreneurs, investors, and traders, as well as officials, diplomats and decision-makers will visit the exhibition. Mr. Aoun concluded the conference by extending his invitation to all concerned to visit Project Lebanon and the concurrent events, hoping that this occasion will be an assurance for stability and prosperity.