The USAID-funded Lebanon Enterprise Development (LED) project, in partnership with Berytech Foundation and in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Sidon and the South was officially launched in South Lebanon with the goal of facilitating increased employment opportunities for Lebanese citizens.
President of the Chamber Mohammad Saleh, representative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Douglas Griffith, President of the Trade Organization in Sidon Ali Sharif, Deputy GM of Berytech Rami Boujawdeh were joined by a number of business representatives of various sectors in Sidon and the South.
During the opening ceremony, Saleh spoke of the importance of the project and the support of USAID addressing the role played by the Chamber in the field of business development: “The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Sidon and the South has taken on the tasks of support, guidance, and development of many economic sectors. Business institutions in Lebanon, especially in the South, are small to medium-sized enterprises that make up 90% of businesses in Lebanon.” He added that the Chamber has formed partnerships with international bodies supporting growth and economic development in the framework of providing technical support to workers in several productive sectors, mostly in the agriculture and industry sectors. “The efforts were mainly focused on completing the infrastructure for the creation of a business development and incubation center in South Lebanon operated by business experts. The project came to life as a result of the fruitful cooperation with the European Union within its program of integrated support for small and medium-sized enterprises in Lebanon.”
Saleh also pointed out that “cooperation and partnership with USAID in the past years included developing the industrial and agricultural sectors, especially the food and agricultural processing sector, where programs have been implemented to train and guide farmers on modern methods of growing alternative crops in the South, in addition to a center for the development of food industries and a laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, licensed and approved internationally and locally to provide the necessary tests for exporters and importers of food products.” The cooperation is being renewed today with USAID and Berytech to provide technical support to businesses according to their respective needs, help them identify and solve problems that hinder their growth, and enhance their ability to market their production and create jobs in the South. All of which are goals that the Chamber is aiming for in Sidon and the South.”We hope that this cooperation will positively influence our economic and living conditions and the challenges we face as productive sectors, employers and workers,” Saleh concluded.
Boujawdeh on behalf of Berytech Foundation discussed the project’s specifications while Ibrahim Al-Basha, Deputy GM of the LED project discussed “the project’s three-year aim to increase employment opportunities and enable us to meet multiple challenges. This project aims to create jobs by increasing competitiveness, enhancing the growth of Lebanese institutions, improving the environment, contributing to the development of businesses in Lebanon and communicating and disseminating the results of the project with the public and private sectors,” he concluded.