CCPIT Chairperson Gao Yan visited Tripoli Port, Tripoli Special Economic Zone and Rashid Exhibition Center of Lebanon on March 31. During the visit, she also met and talked with Lebanon Prime Minister Hariri’s Northern Affairs advisor Kabbala and Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and the North Dabboussi.
Kabbala extended welcome to Gao Yan on behalf of Prime Minister Hariri. According to him, Tripoli is the second largest city and port of Lebanon and that Lebanon hopes to make it a node on the “Belt and Road” and a supplies transit station for rebuilding Syria. He also expressed his hope that China participates in the expansion of the Tripoli Port, construction of Tripoli Special Economic Zone, Tripoli-Syria Railway, Tripoli Northern Airport and exhibition center, etc. Lebanon can provide a series of preferential policies in taxation, land and management, etc and PPP model can be adopted.
Dabboussi noted, though small in economy and population, Lebanon has a big ambition when it comes to jointly building the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Prime Minister Hariri would like to cooperate with China in large-scale projects. Tripoli borders the Mediterranean Sea on the west and has been a commercial hub since ancient times. The airport and port can radiate to the Middle East and drive development. Once well planned, constructed and operated, they can be models of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Lebanon.
According to head of Rashid Exhibition Center, the center was planned to be a landmark of Lebanon, but suspended construction due to civil war and expressed hope that Chinese companies make it a Chinese products market or innovation center. Deputy General Manager of China Railway Group Limited Wu Jibang also discussed with their Lebanon counterparts about the competition between the two ports of Tripoli and Beirut and the transport volume of the railway from Tripoli to Syria.
Gao Yan expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Hariri for sending multiple ministerial officials to China-Lebanon Investment Forum and asking Karbala to accompany the delegation’s visit to Tripoli, which shows the importance Prime Minister Hariri attaches to the Chinese delegation, economic and trade cooperation between China nd Lebanon as well as participation in “Belt and Road” construction. She also noted that the ancient Silk Road passed through Lebanon, which has long history and splendid culture and is an important node on the “Belt and Road”. As they were told about projects, preferential policies and demands in construction in Tripoli, she was sure more Chinese companies would visit Lebanon to discuss and explore business opportunities. She also asked for materials in Chinese so that CCPIT could promote those projects on its website.