Representing HE Najib Mikati, President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, the Minister of State Marwan Khaireddine launched yesterday, Tuesday June 5th at BIEL the 17th Edition of Project Lebanon 2012: the International Construction Trade Exhibition for Lebanon & the Middle East, in the presence of high-ranking officials, businesspersons, diplomats, and prominent figures in the construction sector in Lebanon and the region.
Minister Marwan Khaireddine cut the ribbon and officially opened Lebanon’s leading construction exhibition, which covers a surface area of more than 25,000-m2 and gathers more than 800 exhibiting companies from 28 countries.
After visiting various aisles, the Prime Minister’s representative addressed the media saying “I hope that this exhibition opens its doors wide to foreign companies and encourages them to enter in lucrative partnerships with Lebanese and Arab companies. This is especially true given that the exhibition provides an extensive surface area to help promote direct interaction, networking, and the discussion of business opportunities related to the Arab market; a market witnessing rapid growth in the construction sector.”
The first day of the exhibition was marked by the presence of high-level foreign delegations, which stopped to admire the international pavilions. These 16 international pavilions represented the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and UAE.
Several international trade associations support this international presence, including UBIFRANCE; the Portuguese Business and Professional Association; the National Foreign Trade Council of Greece; German Federation for Exhibitions; the Wallonia Export and Foreign Investment Agency, and the Egyptian Exhibition Authority. In addition, a number of foreign embassies such as the Embassies of Italy, France, and Brazil also partook in the event.
IFP, the organizers, expect that despite regional tensions, this year’s edition will attract a large number of visitors similar to the past editions. On this occasion, Mr. Albert Aoun, Chairman & CEO of IFP Group, said, “Project Lebanon has become an international platform that provides companies with the opportunity to penetrate regional markets. The platform allows for direct contact with Arab nationals visiting the show, or direct contact with the Lebanese businesspersons and companies that are actively present across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe.”
Project Lebanon is held alongside two other specialized events: Energy Lebanon 2012, The International Trade Exhibition for Power, Electricity, Lighting & HVAC for Lebanon and the Middle East, and EcOrient 2012, the International Trade Exhibition & Conference for Environmental Technologies, Sustainability, Alternative Energy, Water Technology and Clean Energy.
EcoOrient 2012 is organized in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris (CCIP) and with the support of the Ministry of Environment in Lebanon and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon
In parallel to Project Lebanon, the EcoOrient Conference is scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2012, in cooperation with the Order of Engineers of Lebanon, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and the Lebanon Green Building Council (LGBC). The conference hosts several local and international experts to discuss and suggest feasible solutions for the emerging and pressing environmental challenges facing Lebanon and the region.
Mr. Aoun underscored the purpose of these parallel events and explained that the timing was to help increase the level of specialization of the event as a whole. On one hand, project owners, developers, and other parties concerned will be presented with the opportunity to accurately define their needs by visiting every event, and on the other hand, the distribution of exhibiting companies allows for a clear showcasing of their products.
Interior exhibiting areas were divided in sections according to the products exhibited. Visitors will, hence, find all product types in Project Lebanon such as sanitary equipment and tiles; stone and concrete; woods products; iron and steel; lifts; safety and security equipment; plastics and pipes; paints and coatings; construction equipment, etc.
The EcOrient Conference will be entirely dedicated to the techniques, solutions, and products of wastewater treatment; renewable energies; solar energy; water treatments for hospital and medical clinics; green financing; green buildings, and other green solutions that constitute topics of particular interest for Lebanon and the region.
With day one drawing to a close, the pavilions at the exhibition were still jam-packed with visitors and several B2B meetings, discussing future projects were still ongoing in several pavilions.
Mr. Bernard Missi, the Manager of the Exhibition, said, “The preliminary figures on the number of visitors on the first day are quite encouraging.”
He expected that the show would continue on the same momentum in which several promising deals would be sealed. Missi invited all those who did not have the opportunity to visit the exhibition on the opening day, not to miss such an event. The exhibition will run until June 8 2012, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.