by Dana Halawi
BEIRUT, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese manufacturers have become highly aware of the importance of exporting their products to China due to the huge size of the Chinese market.
This has prompted around 11 Lebanese companies to take part in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) this year, hoping to open a new market for their products or increase their exports to China.
Wassim Jammoul, marketing manager at Rafic Marrouche Co, a company that produces spices, said that China constitutes a great opportunity for his company because it is a huge market.
"We are participating in the expo for the first time this year to find a distributor for our products," he said.
Ibrahim El Kaakour, owner of Orchards of Leila, an olive oil producer, said it is the second time for his company to participate in the expo.
"Last year, we received a lot of orders for our products by merchants in China but we do not have a distributor there so we could not deliver all of the orders," he said.
He noted that he is going to China this year to find a distributor for his products, hoping to come back to Lebanon with big purchasing orders.
For his part, Amir Hassoun, owner of Khan al Saboun, a soap manufacturer in north of Lebanon, said this year will be his second time to participate in the expo, adding that he has received throughout the past year more than eight export orders to China.
"We have a customer in China who buys from our factory a soap that entered the World Guinness Book. The soap costs 2,800 U.S. dollars and it is sold to well-known people all over the world," he said.
Hassoun explained that the Chinese are highly cultured and they appreciate good quality of products while they are well aware of the history of the land in this region when it comes to olive oil.
"They tried several countries but our products, according to their tests, have the best quality," he said.
Charbel Gebrael, owner of Tannourine Roastery, a nuts factory, said this will be his first time to China aiming at opening a new market for his products.
The second edition of CIIE, scheduled from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, a Chinese financial hub, will enable the world to strengthen economic and trade cooperation, and to promote world economic growth.
Lebanon will have two locations during the 2019 expo, one for industrial firms and the other for service providers.
The expo will also host a Lebanese pavilion which will be open to the public for 10 additional days after Nov. 10.
It will mainly introduce Lebanon's tradition and civilization in addition to giving guidance about the country and its industries.
Lebanese winemakers, olive oil producers, soap makers, canned food and nuts producers as well as travel agencies will aim to find partners at the expo.
China and Lebanon have been long trading partners. According to the Lebanese customs' statistics, China is Lebanon's largest source of imports.
"There are products that have good potential in China such as olive oil," Alia Abbas, general director of Economy and Trade at the Lebanese Economy Ministry, previously told Xinhua.
Representatives of participating companies also gave a few suggestions for facilitating the participation of Lebanese companies in the expo.
Kaakour said that he would like to see B2B meetings since the huge expo gives exhibitors the chance to meet people who work in the same field.
"We would also like to have easy access to translators which will facilitate our work," he said.
Hassoun believes that the Lebanese embassy should play a bigger role by promoting Lebanon in China on different levels.
Meanwhile, Gebrael said that subsidized loans by the government would help factories to increase their production and export to huge markets such as China.