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