New Country Programme Framework for Lebanon introduced
BEIRUT, 19 February 2013 - The Minister of Industry of Lebanon, Vrej Sabounjian, and UNIDO Representative, Khaled El Mekwad, today signed a new Country Programme Framework, which envisages new activities in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, youth employment, food safety, and olive oil production, among others.
Furthermore, a micro credit facility reaching some Euro 21 million has been introduced to provide soft loans to SMEs and assist them in the areas of innovation, green industry development, and industrial upgrading.
The ceremony was attended by officials from the public and private sectors as well as ambassadors of several donor countries.
Minister Sabounjian said that UNIDO prepared the new Country Programme in close cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and other national counterparts, and the final document was a response to the Government’s needs and requirements. He added that the programme builds on the long-lasting cooperation and partnership between UNIDO and the Lebanon, including the country’s private sector, and was part of an overall strategy to build local capacity, transfer know-how, and promote the use of policy, technical and management tools and methodologies needed to achieve higher competitiveness in the industrial sector.
Ziad Bekdache, the Vice-President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), who spoke on behalf of the President of ALI, Neemat Frem, said that the development of the industrial infrastructure and the reduction of the production costs were essential to the growth and improvement of the industrial exports’ competitiveness.
He added that this could only be achieved with the establishment of a sustainable partnership between the public and private sectors, a partnership in which the public sector would handle the creation of an economic environment favorable to investment attraction, mainly in the industrial sector.
UNIDO Representative El Mekwad noted that the Country Programme Framework for Lebanon addressed four key areas: industrial governance and institutional building; improving enterprises performance; trade capacity building; and environmental management and energy.
He also thanked the Governments of Austria, Italy, Lebanon and Switzerland for their support and financial contributions to UNIDO projects and programmes in Lebanon.
For more information, please contact:
The UNIDO Field Office in Lebanon