On behalf of His Excellency, the Prime Minister, H.E. the Minister of Industry, Eng. Freij Sabounjian, inaugurated Project Lebanon 2013, the 18th International Construction Trade Exhibition for Lebanon and the Middle East, at BIEL, Beirut, in the presence of the participating countries’ ambassadors, numerous officials, diplomats and dignitaries; in addition to journalists and media representatives.
His Excellency cut the ribbon signaling the launch of one of the largest shows in the history of this event; in which more than 700 companies are participating from over 26 countries worldwide, across 25,000 square meters of exhibition space. Minister Sabounjian then toured the exhibition grounds, after which he expressed his hopes that the occasion may open up vast opportunities for local and international companies to form partnerships, especially since the show has a large area dedicated to networking and identifying prospects in the local and regional fast-growing construction markets.
The first day was marked by the distinguished participants, particularly with the ten national pavilions; Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Turkey; and the participating countries; Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Czech Republic, Greece, Kuwait, Lebanon, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
The organizers at IFP Lebanon expect a heavy turnout at this year’s edition despite the regional situation. Albert Aoun, Chairman of IFP Group, said that "Project Lebanon has laid steady foundations as a preferred destination for Lebanon and the region’s business community. Over the years, the show has become a launching point for foreign companies to enter the regional markets, thanks to the efficient direct interaction at the exhibition and the wide reach of Lebanese companies throughout the Middle East and GCC region."
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 EcOrient Conference kicks off Wednesday morning with the support of several local and international bodies, headed by the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), the Lebanese Solar Energy Society (LSES), the Lebanon Green Building Council (LGBC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers in Lebanon (ASHRAE), the Arab Sustainability Association, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); in addition to the participation of experts from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD); and a large number of environmental specialists and engineers from Lebanon and the region, who will be addressing critical regional energy and environmental issues and providing green solutions for a better and more sustainable future, specifically in the Levant and GCC regions.
The two-day conference, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, entails 6 sessions featuring more than 25 speakers from major environmental organizations and leading institutions in the fields of clean and alternative energies, and waste collection and treatment; in addition to experts and researchers from environmental and scientific institutes, and government officials; to discuss topics such as “The Development of Wind Farms in Lebanon and the Middle East,” “Energy from Waste Water Sludge,” “Sustainable House Applications,” and “Sustainable Transportation,” as well as relevant success stories and personal experiences.
A Highly Specialized Event
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.
As the first day was coming to an end, the exhibition halls were still filled with visitors and ongoing meetings to discuss future projects. Bernard Missi, Manager of Project Lebanon at IFP Lebanon, reaffirmed that, "the preliminary numbers for visitors on the first day of the exhibition are very promising," and expected the show to continue with the same momentum over the next few days, witnessing the signing of several potential deals. Missi insisted that those who didn’t attend the opening day should not miss out on the opportunities at the show during the coming days, pointing out that the exhibition continues until Friday, June 7, from 4 to 10 PM.