The Arab Chinese Cooperation and Development Association, ACCDA, in cooperation with the Engineers Syndicate in Tripoli and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, organized a forum entitled "The Belt and Road initiative and development in North Lebanon". The event was organized at the Headquarters of the Engineers Syndicate on March 2nd 2019.
The meeting was attended by representative of President NajibMiqati, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gibran Bassil, and the Minister of Women Empowerment, Violet Al Safadi. The event was also attended by the following parliament members: Samir Jisr, Mohammed Kabara, HadiHbeich, Tarek Al-Marabi, Mohamed Suleiman; President of the Federation of Municipalities of Tripoli, Mr. Ahmad Kamareddine; President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in North Lebanon Mr. TawfiqDabboussi; Advisor to President Saad Hariri for the North Region, Mr. Abed el Ghani Kabbara; ACCDA President, Mr. KassemTofailli and General secretary Mr. Mukhtar Haidar and Artist Ahmed Kaabour.
After an introduction from Ms. Jinan Salah, director of Youth Committee of ACCDA, Mr.Issam AbdulKhadrDirector of ACCDA public relations, talked on "The importance of the Belt and Road initiative launched by the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi JinPing, and its common benefit to all people in the region in their sustainable development goals. He also stressed the important role of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce, SRCIC, for which ACCDA is proud to be member of. Afterwards, a documentary produced by the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce, SRCIC, showcasing its accomplishments since its establishmentand different initiatives particularlytheir fund providing scholarships for students from silk road countries including students from Lebanon as well asstudents from Russia, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan to study in Xi'an top universities.
The ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Lebanon, H.E. Kijian Wang, spoke about the accomplishments of the silk road initiative and the signing of 170 cooperation agreements between china and different countries along the silk road during the last year. The trade exchange between China and those countries amounted to 1 trillion and 300 million US dollars, of which 704 billion dollars were Chinese exports and 560 billion dollars were imports from these regions and countries, and the value of investments of Chinese enterprises in these areas reached 15 billion and 600 million dollars.
The ambassador stressed that China is open to the possibility of cooperation with the Lebanese government and with officials in North Lebanon for the implementation of educational and social projects in accordance with the needs of the Lebanese side and the development plan set by the Lebanese government. Any project that pass the economic and social feasibility study set by Chinese standards can benefit from the Chinese side's support in terms of soft loans or other means mentioning that few Chinese companies have toured the city of Tripoli and the north, including the port of Tripoli and the economic zone.
The president of Engineers Syndicate in North Lebanon,Mr. Ziadetalked about the history of the silk road which dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century, and stressed the importance of this silk road initiative especially for Lebanese engineers and human resources.
Mr. Samir el Jisr president of the National Defense, Interior and Municipalities Committee in the Lebanese Parliament, mentioned in his intervention the importance of the silk road which is no longer a means of production but a means of transporting production. He also stressed the important role that Lebanon can play, through its transport facilities (the port of Beirut, the port of Tripoli, the airports) and with what was decided at the Cedar Conference for the development of ports, roads, airport and railways, in addition to the services sector provided by Lebanon Particularly in the banking sector, as well as educated human resources, to be useful in the process of reconstruction of Syria and Iraq.
Mr. HadiHbeish, member of the Lebanese Parliament, indicated that the Chinese communist party role and china's achievements are worthy of study, for other countries to benefit from china's lessons for developments.
He mentioned that the best benefit for the north region citizens comes in the best exploitation of our geographical, natural and economic capabilities, whether in terms of the airport of Prime Minister Renee Moawad in Qlaayat and the ports of Tripoli as well as the free economic zone of the north of Lebanon.He stressed that economy and development unite people before ideologies and policies and the need to secure the material and economic well-being of the people of north Lebanon will inevitably reflect stability, security, peace and culture for all of us.
President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Mr. TawfiqDaboussi explained the Chamber initiatives towards connecting the Tripoli port with the airport of President Rene Mouawad in Kallayat, as well as using that platform for the reconstruction of Syria on the one hand and the economic benefits of Tourism and trade for the people of the region and the whole of Lebanon. he mentioned that a preliminary study of a special economic zone stretching from the Tripoli port to the Qali'at airport with a total area of 10 million and 452 square meters, most of which are owned by the Lebanese state.