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Food processed goods on top of the list of Lebanese exports boosted by the consumption of Syrian refugees


Hospitality Services convened a press conference yesterday in Beirut and under the auspices of Minister of Tourism, Michel Pharaon, to announce the launch of its 21st annual hospitality and food forum, Horeca 2014. The event will kick off on the first of April at the BIEL forum according to the general director of Hospitality Services, Joumana Damous Salameh who noted that despite the difficult situation of the market this year, the venue has been completely booked as Horeca has received sufficient support from the unions and syndicates of hotels as well as other related bodies. The Minister of Tourism highlighted the fact that several conferences and exhibitions kicked off last week which has contributed to reinvigorating the local economy as well as giving impetus to several economic sectors especially tourism.  He added that exhibitions and conference tourisms are key pillars of Lebanese tourism.  
The President of the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industrialists, Mounir Bsat, noted that food processed products have scored a tangible growth during last year and since the start of this year according to the statistics released by customs authorities.  The sector has also benefited from increased local consumption and especially with the increase in the number of Syrian displaced, which compensated the fall backs in the tourism sector. The sector was also boosted by increased demand for Lebanese food products in external markets, adding that exports of Lebanese food products now reach some 75 countries. Bsat also spoke about the national day for local food products which is being organised parallel to Horeca, and under the slogan: “creation and innovation in the food processing industry”.
Bsat also told An Nahar that exporting should be the objective of every Lebanese industrialist especially those involved in food as the Lebanese market is limited and, as such, industrialists should seize the opportunity of the large Lebanese and Arab diasporas throughout the globe especially Latin America. However, he acknowledged that exports to these countries face hurdles mainly the absence of support or subsidies to the private sector which hinders the opening of new markets. Bsat highlighted the importance of exhibitions such as Horeca, which play a critical role in increasing sales and exports.  He noted the important participation of Lebanon in the Gulf Food 2014 exhibition which recently took place in Dubai whilst noting that the Syndicate is currently in charge of preparing the Lebanese pavilion of the SIAL 2014 exhibition which will take place in Paris next October.
Source: Al-Nahar, Al-Mustaqbal, 14 March 2014

For further information about the mentioned exhibitions please review:

Horeca 21st exhibition kicks off in the beginning of April with 350 exhibitors and 18 thousand expected visitors, on 26/2/2014

Inauguration of the Lebanese pavilion at the Dubai 2014 Gulf Food exhibit, on 25/2/2014

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