With a high presence of diplomats and representatives from the economic sector, the CCIA-BML headquarter in Beirut hosted a press conference announcing the launch of Project Lebanon 2014, The 19th International Construction Trade Exhibition for Lebanon & the Middle East, from June 3 to 6 in BIEL, Beirut; organized by IFP Group, under the patronage of the Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water, Mr. Arthur Nazarian, and with the participation of more than 400 local, regional and international companies from 20 countries.
The press conference was headed by the Chairman and CEO of IFP Group, Albert Aoun; with the participation of the Chairman of CCIA-BML, Mohammed Choucair; the Director of UBIFRANCE – Beirut, Henri Castores; the Italian Trade Commissioner, Marina Giagrande; the Economic and Commercial Attaché at the Belgian Embassy in Beirut, Nada Abdul Rahim; and the Head of the Commercial Office at the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut, Saad El Sheikh.
Attendees included the Commercial Attaché at the French Embassy in Beirut, Marie Maamari; the first Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Italian Embassy in Beirut, Palma d’Ambrosio; the Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at the German Embassy in Beirut, Hanan Abdel Rida; the Counselor at the Swiss Embassy in Beirut, Boris Richard; the Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in Beirut, Ricardo Fernandez Calvo; the Market Analyst at the Spanish Embassy in Beirut, Catalina Sawan Guzman; the Consultant for Lebanon at the Austrian Embassy In Beirut, Sayed Karam; the Commercial Secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Beirut, Elie Reaidy; the Commercial Counselor at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Mohsen Mir Shah Wilayati; in addition to a number of representatives of trade missions from countries participating in the exhibition.
The press conference began with a speech by Mohammed Choucair, who expressed his joy during this occasion for representing “nineteen 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 its geographical location, its free economy, and its abundance of human resources.”
Choucair 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”, affirming that “the Lebanese business community still believes in the country’s future and its economic role, as we heard very clear during the Beirut Boat show which we concluded recently.”
Leveraging from Lebanon’s strategic geographical location as a platform for neighboring markets in the Middle East, and building on its contribution in rebuilding Lebanon in its early editions, Aoun declared that “Project Lebanon, reaching its 19th edition now, is gearing up to back Syria’s rebuilding efforts through launching the Syrian Businessmen Forum which represents an early response to the huge business opportunities that will result from the upcoming rebuilding efforts in Syria.”
Syrian Businessmen Forum
The Forum will be held from 4 to 6 June, featuring in the first day a special panel exclusively attended by a select group of Syrian, Arab and foreign business leaders and investors. Speaking at the panel will be Mr. Abdullah Dardari, Director of the Economic Development and Globalization Division (EDGD) at the United Nations' Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). From his position, Mr. Dardari currently oversees the "National Agenda for the future of Syria" launched by ESCWA to assess the needs of development in Syria.
Clearly indicating the rising interest paid by international companies and businessmen to Project Lebanon as a gateway to the region’s markets, more than 150 International companies participate in this year’s edition; representing Austria, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
In this context, the Director of UBIFRANCE in Beirut, Henri Castores, explained that “Building on the success witnessed each year since 2008, the UBIFRANCE office in Beirut is organizing the French Pavilion in Project Lebanon 2014 to highlight the capabilities of the French SMEs, SMIs and groups of international renown with a unique and innovative know-how in the fields of engineering, building and construction.”
Castores added: “The participation of the French Pavilion demonstrates again this year the interest of French companies in Lebanon and the Lebanese building and construction sector.”
In her turn, the Italian Trade Commissioner, Marina Giagrande indicated that “In spite of the political and civil unrest in this area of the world, Italy is taking part in Project Lebanon for the 8th consecutive year, confirming the strong interest of Italian industries in the Lebanese market in general and in particular in the construction sector that continues to be one of the most promising sectors in the Country.”
Taking the floor, the Economic and Commercial Attaché at the Belgian Embassy in Beirut, Nada Abdul Rahim said that “Once again, several companies from Belgium and Luxembourg will participate this year in Project Lebanon. The fact that this will be Belgium’s 15th participation and Luxembourg’s 5th is a testimony of our continued interest and faith in Lebanon, its market as well as the Lebanese construction sector. We also highly regard Project Lebanon as a very successful trade fair for the country and the region.”
Project Lebanon 2014 will run concurrently with Energy Lebanon, the 4th International Trade Exhibition for Power Generation, Electricity, Alternative Energy, Water and Environmental Technologies.
The organizers 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, managing and preserving water resources, and other renewable energy and ecological green solutions.
EcOrient, The Third International Conference for Environmental Technologies, Sustainability & Clean Energy, which will be held in partnership with the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) will be inaugurated by the Minister of Environment, Mohamad Al-Machnouk on the 4th of June.
Over the period of two days, 6 working sessions will be held with the participation of more than 30 speakers from experts representing major environmental organizations, and leading institutions in the field of clean and alternative energy, to representatives of scientific institutes and research institutions of environmental studies.
The conference is supported by a number of prominent local and regional institutions, led by the Ministry of Environment, the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut, the Lebanese Solar Energy Society (LSES), the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), the Lebanon Green Building Council (LGBC), the Lebanese ASHRAE Chapter, the Arab Sustainability Association, as well as the CES-MED Program.
According to IFP Group, the exhibition will witness more than 20,000 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 2014.