Presidents Message – March 2017    

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 On behalf of The Chairman and the Board of Directors of the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Vic),  it is with my greatest pleasure to wish you all a very successful year ahead.

Our team has been very busy planning the launch of major new initiatives for the future benefit; many of which were years in the making.  2016 has seen a paradigm success in the ALCCI activities, including Trade Missions, assisting Australia and Lebanese Governments towards strong economic development, devoting platforms for networking and negotiations, and finally a major focus moving forward for 2017 has been on education, construction, finance, business, tourism and culture.

The Chamber takes a collaborative approach to building solid platforms to keep the industry, innovation, education, economic growth, growth market for jobs and much more, as we move forward together in 2017 with our members/sponsors and partners.

As a not for profit Chamber, the ALCCI connects with members in order to open up new markets for businesses, enhancing our membership which incorporates a diverse range of backgrounds, all with one aim of prosperity through business.

I am extremely privileged to acknowledge the visit to Australia of H.E. Gebran Bassil Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Minister of Lebanon in March/April this year.  Minister Gebran  is a true advocate towards  the vitality of Lebanon’s diaspora and the growing role of Lebanon.  Minister Bassil recognises that around 40 million Lebanese expatriates reside in 167 countries around the world. “We have presence in every single corner of the globe, and this represents a golden opportunity for us. What we are trying to do is to reconnect these expatriates through cultural exchanges, monetary interests, and the Lebanese traditions so they can have a positive impact on the economy. This concept has been going on for years; however, we are now materializing it into a state policy. After all, the flows of capital coming from the diaspora have maintained Lebanon’s economic standing during adverse times. We receive around USD8 billion annually from the diaspora; therefore, we are trying to build bridges to bumper their contributions to the homeland.”

Minister Bassil wants to build up relations based on values rather than interests. “We want to preserve our country’s stability by preserving our values. History has shown us that the prevalence of power makes us lose, that we need to build up on a chain of values to maintain solid foreign relations and a good domestic situation. We want Lebanon’s message of coexistence and tolerance to prevail and to echo all across the region to bring peace to the Middle East. We are a small player in this chessboard, but we can be a significant one if we put our values beforehand and form bridges between regions, between our Arab neighbours and us, and between the Arab world and Europe.”

His Excellency is the instigator of the new Lebanese Nationality Program website which was launched by the Lebanese government to help Lebanese people abroad (who don’t have their citizenship) reclaim their Lebanese nationality. This is an initiative launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Emigrants to initiate and facilitate the process for people of Lebanese heritage.

Minister Bassil recently said:

We need your help to restore Lebanese expats their Lebanese citizenship … With each person that restores his Lebanese citizenship, we give Lebanon a new day of life”

Our Chamber is extremely overwhelmed with joy and excitement to welcome HE Gebran Bassil to Australia this year and wish him and his delegation a very successful and rewarding association with Australia and beyond.

I am very excited to invite you all to attend Australia Week In Lebanon themed“G’Dy Lebanon”  4-9 May 2017 in Lebanon.  The main aims and purpose of  G’Dy Lebanon are to provide Australian Businesses the opportunity and platforms to extend their business across the international seas into the ready and prosperous lands of Lebanon, Middle East , The Gulf and Africa.  This opportunity will be greatly achieved by attending the Lebanese Foreign Affairs Department LDE 2017.  The LDE 2017 embraces all Lebanese Diaspora from all over the world.  A wonderful opportunity for Australian Companies, businesses to further enhance their potential overseas.  Truly a business venture not to be missed.

I look forward to a mutually rewarding association for 2017 and beyond and look forward to a reciprocally rewarding prosperous year ahead.

Yours sincerely

Mr Faddy Zouky OAM

President

Holiday message from the President 2016

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On behalf of the Board of Directors, The Business Women’s Group and the Young Entrepreneurs of the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Vic), I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a very safe and prosperous New Year.

I would like to thank you for your continued and loyal support for 2016 and look forward to a mutually rewarding future ensuring that 2017 embraces powerful business and networking events.

Once again wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year.

Yours sincerely

Faddy Zouky OAM BA, LLB, DipEd, GradDipMigLaw, MLLB
President, ALCCI
Australian Lawyer

End of year message from the President 2016

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As another year draws to a close, it is with a heart full of pride that I address you on the achievements and accolades of the Australia Lebanon Chamber Of Commerce and Industry(Vic) (ALCCI) over the past 12 months. 2016 has been a year filled with opportunity and success; it has been a year of new beginnings and a plethora of dynamic opportunity. It is with much excitement that I can tell you of our accomplishments this year, and what we have to look forward to in the next!

I was honoured to have travelled to Lebanon in May of this year with a delegation made up of the ALCCI Directors; and many other influential Australian business corporations. We attended the Lebanese Energy Diaspora 2016 and had the opportunity to meet many Lebanese, numerous delegates not only from Lebanon but other parts of the Globe and a huge international media contingent. This year was exceptional as it was the first time the ALCCI had the pleasure of hosting its own panel at the LDE. Through the facilitation of discussion lead and instigated by myself, we were able to implement and create the first Chamber House in Lebanon to be a host for all International Lebanese Chambers of Commerce throughout the world.
This year, the Chamber had the honour to host many special VIPs including Mr Raed Charafeddine First Vice Governor of the Banque de Liban, Mr Salim Sfeir Chairman and CEO of Bank of Beirut , Political Ministers and Members of Parliament, Mr Lahoud Lahoud Director General, Chief of Protocol & Public Relations at the Presidency of the Republic of Lebanon, Ms Betty Hindi Founder of the First World House of Lebanon and representative of the Lebanese Army, Mr Ziad el Hawat Mayor of the municipality of Jbeil and the highly internationally acclaimed entertainer Ms Carole Samaha.

This year also saw the flouring of two dynamic groups of the Chamber our Young Entrepreneurs- the youth arm of the Chamber- and our Business Women’s Group. Our Young Entrepreneurs have been making ground breaking movement this year, they officially launched on the 1st of April, with over 400 guests attending and a significant myriad of dignitaries. They are the first youth arm of any Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the world, which is a very proud achievement for the Chamber. Our Young Entrepreneurs have successfully established Australian Lebanese Society’s in all major Melbourne universities with the idea of interstate branching on their horizon. They will be looking forward to hosting a youth engagement panel, a youth award evening and their major event for 2017 an annual youth sports day. Their hope is to bring together all denominations of young Australian Lebanese via sport and to culminate the day with a cocktail evening. Our Business Women’s Group have also been a powerful force, they launched on the 26th of June, and hosted an exhibition named “Art of many Genres from Middle Eastern Backgrounds”, showcasing the talents of numerous artists of different genres from Middle Eastern backgrounds. They recently hosted two Empowering Women Thru Leadership seminars which focused on providing powerful tools, knowledge and ability to further enhance their business expectations and so much more. They are excited about their 2017 programs and events promoting Australian Lebanese Women through many different business ventures and projects. They hope to be a catalyst for change in the movement of female empowerment.

This year the chamber was lucky enough to host various events including seminars, ‘From Hawkers Barrows to Boardrooms: 130 years of Lebanese business in Victoria contributing to the community’ hosted in partnership with The Australian Lebanese Historical Society of Victoria. This year the Chamber expanded its horizons establishing connections and partnerships with the Italian, Greek and French Australian Chambers of Commerce. As a Chamber it filled our hearts with pride when The Honourable Marlene Kairouz MP was elected as the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, the first female of Lebanese decent to do so in Australia, we marked this significant achievement by visiting Ms Kairouz and presenting her with an award on behalf of the Chamber.

This year we also hosted a superstar studded spectacular Gala Ball themed “ This is Home”. Our event included the talents of Ms Carole Samaha, Ms Gina Liano, Mr Alin Le Kal, Mr Kevork Khatcherian and Ms Kylie Fisher. Ms Fisher debuted a song which I had the honour of producing titled “ This is Home”, a tribute to the sacrifices made for a better future and the amazing opportunities this country Australia has afforded each and every one of us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Directors for their continuous commitment and support towards the ALCCI. Their dedication, love, passion and hard work is unparalleled so I thank them all for such a significant contribution.

I am very excited and it is with great pleasure that I invite you to participate in Australia Week in Lebanon 2017 themed “G’day Lebanon”. This is a first for the Chamber, and harnesses further our aim to enhance business links and open floodgates of communication for Australian and Lebanese business alike. It is anticipated that we will be hosting G’day Lebanon in May 2017 in Lebanon.

G’day Lebanon is a highly achievable opportunity for you to promote and engage your business and trade with all participants attending from across Australia, Lebanon and the Lebanon diaspora including the Gulf, South America, Europe and many more. This is a premier event to promote business and trade for all participants. Contributing as a sponsor and exhibitor through the week provides a wonderful prospect for your organisation to captivate a large field of both Australian and international politicians and Ministers, highly influential and reputable business leaders who provide support towards decision making portfolios in various capacities, and a vast influx of foreign and local and commercial media.

These scheduled events will provide a dynamic and enthusiastic privilege for your organisation to be involved in. We are all extremely excited about G’day Lebanon and assure you at all times, that our intent is to maximize your benefit and further advance your business.

The strength of the ALCCI is in the diversity and skills of its members. We seek to include members from all facets of business, commerce, tourism, hospitality, education, health, construction, banking and technology. Help us to build the ALCCI by encouraging membership among colleagues and contacts.
We look forward to another successful year working with our partner the Bank of Sydney, to whom we remain grateful for their ongoing support.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Business Women’s Group and the Young Entrepreneurs, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and wish you and your families a very Merry and Happy Festive Season and a very prosperous New Year.

Yours Sincerely,

Faddy Zouky OAM
President

Highlights from the ALCCI 2016 Gala

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The ALCCI GALA Ball was held on the 21st October 2016, held at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. A fantastic night filled with many highlights, Hosted by Gina Liano and attended by businesses leaders, politicians and dignitaries from all over the world converged on Melbourne for this special one night in the year. Revisit the wonderful night with the videos below.

ALCCI Gala 2016 Red carpet

ALCCI Gala 2016 – Main event

ALCCI Gala 2016 – Fashion show and awards

ALCCI Gala 2016 – Auction

ALCCI Gala 2016 – Performance

ALCCI Gala 2016 – Finale

For more highlights from the night see our previous post. Click Here

Annual 2016 Gala Ball

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Mr Faddy Zouky OAM President and Chairperson

together with

The Board of Directors of the Australia-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Vic)

Gala Ball 2016

Featuring Ms Carole Samaha
Ms Gina Liano(Real Housewives of Melbourne) as MC
A Fashion Parade by the highly acclaimed Mr Alin Le’Kal

21st October 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Bank of Sydney
Proudly partnered with Bank of Sydney

Presidents Report – July 2016

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On behalf of the Directors of the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Vic), it is a privilege to reflect on our recent Trade Mission to Lebanon earlier this year and also to have attended the 2016 Diaspora which was convened by the Lebanese Government.
His Excellency Minister Gebran Bassil invited the ALCCI(Vic) and it’s affiliations to attend its 7th Lebanese Diaspora Energy in Lebanon. A delegation from Australia attended the LDE 2016. The main purpose of this event has now become to roadmap aspiring to further strengthen the ties between Lebanese residents and emigrants around the globe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants held for the third consecutive year, the “Lebanese Diaspora Energy” in its 2016 edition (LDE 2016). Held under the High Patronage of H.E. Minister Gebran Bassil, this unique event has become an annual ritual celebrating the success stories of eminent figures of Lebanese origins in all fields. This year’s event took place on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May 2016 at Hilton Grand Habtoor Hotel – Beirut, Lebanon.
The main purpose and focus of LDE 2016 for the ALCCI(Vic) was primarily to promote bi lateral trade, business and investment between Australia and Lebanon; however the pinnacle of this year’s LDE was a wonderful opportunity hosted by the ALCCI(Vic) with an Australian fully panelled question and answer session. An overwhelming privilege and honour for all Australians to have been represented in an invigorating manner.
Many other successful meetings with government and highly respected business profiles were attended by the ALCCI delegation, some of which included:

  • His Excellency Minister Gebran Bassil
  • His Excellency Glenn Miles Australian Ambassador to Lebanon
  • The former President of Lebanon His Excellency Michelle Sleiman
  • His Excellency Vice Governor of Bank Du Liban Mr Raed Charfedine
  • Minister for Economy The Hon. Alain Hakim
  • Former Prime Minister His Excellency Saad Hariri
  • The Hon. Samy Gemayel Member of the Lebanese Parliament
  • LIBC International members including Ms Regina Fenianos, Mr Antonine Manassa etc.
  • The Lebanese Army Chief General The Hon. John Kahwaji
  • Lord Mayor of Aley
  • Mr Salim Sfeir Chairperson Bank of Beirut
  • Banque du Liban
  • plus much much more

However the most stimulating and heart-rending of all visits was when the ALCCI Delegation along with His Excellency Glenn Miles, Australian Ambassador to Lebanon, paid homage when they visited the Australian Shrine of Remembrance. An overwhelming honourable, emotional and ever so proud feelings were exacerbated during this reflective time. So proud of the Lebanese Government in how they have preserved and looked after our soldiers. The ALCCI(Vic) placed a wreath in memory of those 280 Australian Diggers that have been placed to rest in Lebanon. Lest We Forget. RIP. On this the day we remembered all Australians who served and died in war and on operational service. The spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended, all those who organised, assisted in any way to make this trip to Lebanon a most rewarding and memorable journey and ensure our best attention to detail will always prevail to promote the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Vic).
I look forward to making new acquaintances for ALCCI to further enhance the Chamber’s ability to provide quality service and assistance to our members.

Mr Faddy Zouky OAM
President

ALCCI Trade Mission May 2016

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 IMG_2357 IMG_2336 (2)IMG_2322 (1)       IMG_2763

ALCCI Trade Mission 2016

 

 

On the 1st May 2016, the ALCCI business delegation, which is led by its visionary leader and President Faddy Zouky OAM, embarked on one of the very important and successful business trip to the Republic of Lebanon.

An important aspect of the delegation’s program was to attend the Lebanese diaspora Energy Conference (LDE2016), which was held on the 5 to the 7 of May 2016 at the Grand Hilton Harbtoor  in Beirut , Lebanon.  The LDE was held under the High Patronage of H.E. Minister Gebran Bassil, this unique event has become an annual ritual celebrating the success stories of eminent figures of Lebanese origins in all fields.

The ALCCI delegation spent 9 days in Lebanon participating in productive meetings with prominent and internationals figures, such as the former prime Minister of Lebanon and leader of the Movement of the Future H.E. Sheikh Saad Al Hariri, H.E. Minister Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign affairs and Emigrants, H.E Dr Alain Hakeem, Minister for Economy, Mr Salim Sfeir Chairman and CEO of Bank of Beirut, the Lebanese Military officer and Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Jean Kahwaji and many more meetings with Chamber commerce and Business leaders.

During the visit, a proposal for a project to establish Lebanon International House “LICH” in Beirut, was initiated by the President of the ALCCI, Mr Faddy Zouky OAM.  The proposal was converted to an agreement that was signed by the H.E. Minister Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign affairs and Emigrants, H.E Dr Alain Hakeem, Minister for Economy form the government official in Lebanon, the agreement was also signed by the Lebanon Brazil chamber of Commerce, Canadian Lebanon Chamber of commerce and the Association HALFA form France.