The Development of the Logistics Centers in Lebanon

AUT Organizes Logistics Symposium: Joining WTO Seen As Necessity
In line with the tripod model followed at AUT, the department of External Relations organized a symposium on the impact of the development of logistics centers on the Lebanese economy with the country's top stakeholders and foreign guests. The symposium, meant to introduce AUT Transport Management students to the industry up close ,was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and examined the sector of logistics from the public and private perspectives and allowed seaports executives to voice their concerns to an audience made up of industry professionals, journalists and AUT students and faculty.

The public sector was represented by the Director General of Land and Maritime Transport Mr Abdel Hafiz Kaissy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade and Economy and the Lebanese Customs. The interventions responded to an opening statement by An Nahar journalist Sabine Oweiss who addressed serve criticism to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, setting the tone to a very lively session. The audience learned of the plans prepared by the relevant ministries, the need to integrate the WTO and the obstacles to funding projects.

 

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The seaports perspectives were developed by executives from Beirut and Tripoli ports and the difference in status between both was underlined by Ahmad Tamer of Tripoli Port who demanded fair treatment for his port and pledged that revenues from the free zone around the Port zone would finance all development projects for the city of Tripoli.

The economic impact on the city of Tripoli of a free logistics center around the port of Tripoli was detailed by Mr Toufic Dabboussi, President of the Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture for Tripoli and the North who gave figures related to job creations and revenues generated by such a zone.

An interesting comparison with the activities of local ports was given by Admiral Hassan Matbouly, vice-president of the Alexandria Port Authority. Plans for enlarging both ports in Alexandria were exposed by Matbouly with emphasis on the passengers terminal that would not be limited to incoming tourists but serve as entertainment zone for the residents as well.

The private sector was allowed 5 interventions which focused on obstacles created by regulations but also on insurance and legal matters related to transport and logistics.

The symposium led to recommendations that can be summarized in the following points:
1- the urgency for Lebanon to fully integrate the World Trade Organization in order to facilitate trade
2- the necessity to finalize the private and public sectors partnership
3- the necessity to establish the National Committee For Transport and Trade Facilitation
4- Establish a systematic collaboration among the Ministries of Public Works and Transport, Finance, Economy and Trade, Telecommunications, and Agriculture.
5- More collaboration between institutions of Higher Education and companies involved in Logistics and Transport in order to supply the job market with better skilled human resources.

The following people took part in this symposium
Mr Abdel Hafiz Kaissy , Director General of Land and Maritime Transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport
Ms Fadia Sakr representing Mr Alain Bifani, Director General of the Ministry of Finance
Ms Rafif Berro, UNDP Program Manager at the Ministry of Economy and Trade
Mr Badri Daher, Chief Inspector of Warehouse Department at Lebanese Customs
Mr Elie Zakhour, President of the Chamber of International Navigation
Dr Ahmad Tamer, director of Tripoli Port
Mr Toufic Dabboussi, President of the Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture for Tripoli and the North
Admiral Hassan Matbouly, Vice President of Alexandria Port
Dr Gamal Haikal, Assistant Dean of International Relations at AASTMT, Alexandria
Mr Max Zaccar, CEO, Commercial Insurance
Mr Robert Paoli, CEO, Fast Mondial and Marine
Mr Fuad Bawarshe, Director General of Gezairi Transport
Me Ziad Najem, Maritime Law expert, Najem Law Firm
Mr Ayad Saab, Maritime Insurance analyst, Nasco Karaoglan, Paris
Mr Mourad Aoun, CEO, The Net Holding
Mr Marcel Hinain, VP External Relations, AUT
Mr Maurice Matta, chief of economy section at An Nahar and in charge of the economy section at MTV
Ms Sabine Ouweiss, political and economy journalist at An Nahar

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