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15/05/2017 - 07:00hs

Lebanon to host diaspora business meeting

The 7th Planet Lebanon Conference will take place on August 2 and 3 in Beirut. Executives and politicians of Lebanese to discuss subjects including banking systems, tourism and corruption.

São Paulo – The 7th Planet Lebanon Conference will bring together in Beirut, on August 2 and 3, executives and politicians born in Lebanon or of Lebanese descent. The event is organized by the Lebanese International Business Council (LIBC). The meeting will tackle subjects of interest of the Lebanese diaspora around the world.

“Our keynote speaker will be prime minister Saad Hariri,” says LIBC president Nassib Fawaz. According to him, the event will be divided into four panels: how safe are the Lebanese banks; transparency and corruption in government; how Lebanon can support its diaspora; investment in tourism.

Regarding the panel on supporting the diaspora, Fawaz remarks that this is not needed in Brazil, but in some Gulf nations, Lebanese citizens and descendants do come across a few issues. “Some Gulf countries are making it hard for the Lebanese to enter, they are denying them their visas,” he explains.

But he believes said support must be mutual. “We need to see what the government can do for the diaspora and what the diaspora can do for Lebanon,” he says. This also involves Lebanese descendants doing tourism in their home country, which is the subject of the fourth panel. “We are Lebanon’s permanent tourists,” he asserts.

Another topic to be addressed is the creation of the Lebanese Immigrant House, a USD 150 million project comprising a hotel, a conference center, a museum, and offices to provide services to incoming immigrants.


Fawaz believes there could be more Lebanese-Brazilian cooperation. “There are other goods Brazil produces that it could export to Lebanon,” he points out. At this time, the goods that Brazil sells the most to Lebanon are livestock and meats. The items Lebanon ships to Brazil the most are coffee, teas and spices.

The Brazilian-born, Lebanese descendant business owner Nagib Makhlouf was appointed LIBC director for São Paulo this year. He is tasked with inviting Brazilian panelists for the event. According to him, two politicians and one judge have been invited.

Makhlouf adds that the event should also promote business between the countries. “This is a networking event. My idea is to also have matchmaking sessions. I suggested it to the organizers in Lebanon and they loved the idea,” he says.

In 2016, the event brought together 300 people. This year, 500 guests are expected. Lebanese descendants looking to join the event can send an email to info@libc.net. They will get a reply from the LIBC confirming their registration.

The Planet Lebanon Conference is free of charge. For a USD 100 fee, one can also become an LIBC member and get access to other activities.

For more on the event please go to www.libc.net/planet-lebanon-2017.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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