With a high presence of diplomats and representatives from the economic sector, the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut hosted a press conference announcing the launch of Project Lebanon 2013, the 18th International Exhibition for Construction, Building Equipment, Energy and Environmental Technologies from June 4 to 7 in BIEL, Beirut; organized by IFP Lebanon, under the patronage of the Lebanese Prime Minister, and with the participation of 700 local, regional and international companies from 26 countries.
The press conference was headed by the Chairman and CEO of IFP Group, Albert Aoun; with the participation of the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and the President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon, Mohammed Chucair; the Director of UBI France – Beirut, Henri Castores; the first Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Italian Embassy in Beirut, Palma d’Ambrosio; the Economic and Commercial Attaché at the Belgian Embassy in Beirut, Nada Abdul Rahim; the Head Commercial Attaché of the Trade Promotion Sector at the Brazilian Embassy in Beirut, Rodolfo Sahium Riebeiro; and the Commercial Attaché at the German Embassy in Beirut, Hanan Abdel Rida.
Attendees included the Head of the Commercial Office at the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut, Saad El Sheikh; the Commercial Secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Beirut, Elie Reaidy; the Commercial Counselor at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Mir Chah Wilayati; the Consultant on Lebanese affairs to the Austrian Commercial Counselor, Sayed Karam; and the Commercial Attaché at the Romanian Embassy in Beirut, Marian Postelincu; in addition to a number of representatives of trade missions to countries participating in the exhibition.
The press conference began with a speech by Mohammed Chucair, who expressed his joy during this occasion for representing “eighteen years of continuous support, not only for the construction sector, but for the economy as a whole, which has substantially benefited from these efforts.” He continued by pointing out that “Lebanon is a great location to host this kind of business event, thanks to its geographical location, its free economy, and its abundance of human resources.”
Chucair also indicated that “Lebanese companies have gained a high global reputation in the capability of taking on high caliber mega projects, which allowed for Lebanese companies in the construction industry to expand across the region, enabling international foreign companies participating in the exhibition to enter the Arab market by partnering with these Lebanese companies.”
From his end, Albert Aoun stressed that “despite the current circumstances, the Lebanese economy is still exhibiting positive signs, confirming its ability to withstand and overcome the difficulties surrounding the country while heading towards new horizons of growth and prosperity, with big leaps and promising developments taking place in the Oil and Gas sector.”
Aoun continued by pointing out there is still a lot of movement in construction developments despite the unfortunate regional unrest, linking the construction and real estate sectors’ continuous growth in Lebanon to IFP Group’s efforts in developing the exhibition in terms of size and quality, explaining that "the 2013 show is spread across 25,000 square meters of exhibition space in BIEL, gathering more than 700 local, regional and international companies and 11 national pavilions from 26 countries.”
Aoun described Project Lebanon as “part of a series of annual construction fairs organized by IFP Group in Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, serving as an undisputed gateway to the region’s lucrative construction markets; and this is indicated by the steadily growing number of local and international participants and visitors from the construction sector.”
In light of the international participation, Project Lebanon 2013 will host 11 national pavilions representing Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and Turkey; as well as participating companies from Australia, Austria, Bahrain, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Kuwait, Lebanon, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
In the same context, the Director of UBI France in Beirut, Henri Castores, pointed out that “the participation of 30 companies in the French national pavilion is a clear indication of the interest that French businesses have in the Lebanese construction market; in addition to meeting Lebanese entrepreneurs whose businesses are widespread across the Middle East, serving as an excellent launching point for French companies to offer their expertise and technologies to the Middle East’s markets.
In her turn, the first Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Italian Embassy in Beirut, Palma d’Ambrosio, indicated that "Lebanon is a major trading partner for Italy, which recognizes Lebanon’s strategic location as a launching platform for the region’s markets, especially that many Lebanese companies are widely established in the Middle East and GCC countries. For this reason, Italy is participating in Project Lebanon for the 7th time, with a national pavilion that is 10% bigger than last year’s edition, featuring 31 exhibitors and 6 chambers of commerce and industry.”
Similarly, the Commercial Attaché at the German Embassy in Beirut, Hanan Abdel Rida, explained that “Lebanon represents an advanced and dynamic market for Germany, marked by a significant demand for its top notch construction projects and products.”
Taking the floor, the Head Commercial Attaché of the Trade Promotion Sector at the Brazilian Embassy in Beirut, Rodolfo Sahium Riebeiro, said that “Brazil's participation in this year's edition comes after the great success of its previous involvements in the show, which motivated the Brazilian trade mission in Lebanon to mark its presence at the exhibition this year.”
Project Lebanon 2013 is running concurrently with two specialized events; Energy Lebanon, the 3rd International Trade Exhibition for Power Generation, Electricity, Lighting and HVAC; and EcOrient, the 2nd International Conference and Trade Exhibition for Environmental Technologies, Sustainability, Alternative Energy, Water Technology and Clean Energy; held in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris Ile-de-France (CCI).
The show organizer, IFP Lebanon, pointed out that the aim of this union is to raise the level of specialization at the show, enabling entrepreneurs, contractors and all concerned parties to answer their business needs accurately through each individual event; in addition to providing exhibitors with higher exposure among their target audiences. Project Lebanon has been accurately divided into specialized sections representing each product area: sanitary ware and ceramics, stone and concrete, wood and related products, metals, elevators, safety and security, plastic and pipes, paints and tints, and construction materials. Similarly, Energy Lebanon will be showcasing a comprehensive range of products and services such as: electricity production and distribution, modern lighting products and technologies, ventilation, cooling and air-conditioning and many more. In addition, EcOrient will be entirely dedicated to the techniques for measurement and treatment of atmospheric pollution and smoke, waste collection and treatment, managing and preserving water resources, limiting air pollution, and other renewable energy and ecological projects needed in Lebanon and the Levant region.
According to the organizer, the exhibition will witness more than 25,000 professional visitors from all across the construction sector, including engineers, contractors, entrepreneurs, investors, and traders, as well as a large number of government officials, diplomats and decision makers. Aoun concluded by inviting these aforementioned esteemed guests to visit the exhibition and its concurrent events, wishing everyone a successful and prosperous experience at Project Lebanon 2013.