Interview: Lebanon has bigger role to play in Belt and Road Initiative: official

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-13 03:46:37|Editor: yan
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BEIRUT, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon has a bigger role to play in the Belt and Road Initiative due to its advantages of location, human resources and relatively high-level security in the Middle East region, president of the Lebanese Economic Organizations Adnan Kassar said.

Kassar made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua ahead of the Belt and Road International Cooperation Forum to be held on May 14 and 15 in Beijing.

"Chinese delegations visiting Lebanon last month confirmed this," Kassar said, saying the visit serves as a momentum for China-Lebanon cooperation boosted by the visit of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming to Lebanon last January.

On Belt and Road Initiative, he labeled it as "an important economic development project for the world," saying that it will bring benefits to all participant countries.

Kassar will join the Lebanese official delegation headed by the Minister of Culture Ghattas Khouri to take part in the upcoming forum.

Kassar stressed the forum is important as it brings together the heads and officials of states to discuss strategic guidelines and vision aiming to connect Asia, Europe and Africa.

"The forum will improve global understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative as well as allowing corporations and industry leaders to discuss closer connectivity and partnerships," he added.

On trade ties between Lebanon and China, he believed Chinese companies will benefit from partnerships with Lebanese companies, saying "we have already seen the success of Chinese and Lebanese groups working together in Algeria, in Iraq, in the Gulf and other countries."

Kassar also highlighted the "comparative advantages of the geographic location of Lebanon, its free market principles, free repatriation of funds and low tax rates."

"We are promoting Lebanon and Tripoli's roles as a logistic and trade hub for China in the Middle East region, particularly in view of the predominant role of China in the reconstruction of Iraq and Syria. We welcomed Chinese investment in infrastructure projects in Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon," Kassar said.

As for the future of the Lebanese-Chinese relations, Kassar pointed that Lebanon is committed to strengthening ties with China.