BY SILVI WRITER and XINHUA
China ‘is ready to’ participate in some major infrastructure projects in northern Lebanon, Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian said Saturday.
“Chinese companies have visited northern Lebanon and they are ready to take part in infrastructure projects including the expansion of Tripoli Port and Qlayaat Airport in addition to the construction of railways, roads and bridges,” Wang was quoted as saying during a conference held at the Syndicate of Engineers in Tripoli.
Dubbed “the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its role in developing northern Lebanon”, the conference aimed at discussing opportunities of cooperation between China and Lebanon in projects in northern Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Lebanese parliament member Samir Jisr said that Lebanon has important transport facilities such as the ports of Beirut and Tripoli.
“Lebanon also has successful service sectors such as banking and finance in addition to skilled human resources which can constitute important assets for those who are interested in participating in Syria’s reconstruction,” he said.
Meanwhile, , head of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, emphasized the need to expand the Tripoli Port and Qlayaat Airport in a bid to take part in projects along the BRI.
Lebanon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese government during the China-Arab States Expo held in December 2017 in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The memorandum aimed at promoting economic cooperation between the two countries under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013.
The initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
In 2017, bilateral trade volume reached nearly 1.9 billion U.S. dollars, making China Lebanon’s second largest trade partner.
Figures released by Lebanese customs showed that during the 2013-2016 period, China remained as Lebanon’s largest trade partner and the largest source of imports.
Lebanon’s top imports from China included boilers and machinery, electrical machinery and equipment, plastics, furniture and vehicles, while Lebanon’s exports to China include copper, plastics, beverages and cocoa.