SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 8 December 2021, Wednesday |

President Aoun meets Industry Minister, Army Command delegation

Industry Minister George Boujikian indicated that his ministry is implementing a severe campaign aimed at establishing quality standards and implementing norms in production, particularly in terms of food safety. Boujikian further stated that “it is no longer permissible to enable violators and perpetrators to hit people’ health and harm the prestige of national industry.”

“President Michel Aoun applauded this initiative and issued directions for collaboration among ministries, institutions, and public administrations to ensure the campaign’s success.” Minister Boujikian urged every good citizen to “be a vigilante and assist us in our battle.”

Minister Boujikian also quoted the President reiterating Lebanon’s adherence to the best relations with Arab brothers, led by the brothers in Saudi Arabia, stating that “We are determined and seek to restore the relations the way they were”.

Positions of the Industry Minister came while meeting President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, today at the Presidential Palace.

The President was briefed of the great success of Lebanese exports, and was informed of Minister Boujikian’s participation at the UN General Conference for Industrial Development, in Vienna at the end of this month, in addition to preparations for a joint conference for Lebanese and Iraqi businessmen, in Baghdad early next year.

Statement:

After the meeting, the Industry Minister made the following statement:

“I was honored to meet his Excellency, the President. The meeting was very good, as usual. We deliberated economic, production and industrial affairs. As it is known, the President supports productive economy, and not relying on rentier economy. We and His Excellency the President support the balance between the pillars of the economy, so that we are based on a balanced economy which relies on industry, agriculture, tourism, trade, banking, knowledge and services.

I also briefed the President on the strict campaign launched by our ministry which aims to establish quality standards and apply standards in production, especially in terms of food safety.

This campaign is against unlicensed factories, and against licensed factories who violate their owners, and use raw materials that are not permitted and do not conform to national and international standards.

The campaign is also directed at factories that adhere to standards, and encourages their owners to adopt the NL conformity badge granted by the LIBNOR Foundation, and to resort to periodic examinations in the laboratories of the Industrial Research Institute, and to the Ministry of Industry, whose employees are fully performing their duties.

It is no longer permissible to allow violators and perpetrators to strike the health of citizens, and negatively affect the reputation of the national industry.

His Excellency the President has commended this trend, and gave directions for coordination between ministries, institutions and public administrations to make this campaign a success.

I appeal to every good citizen to be a vigilante, and to help us in our campaign. The police station, the mayor, the municipality, or the Ministry of Industry all shall be informed of the existence of a suspected factory or operator.

I also briefed the President on the great successes of Lebanese exports, which reached the USA, Japan, China, Australia, Europe and the brotherly and friendly African and Arab countries.

We are committed, as His Excellency the President said, to the best relations with our Arab brothers, especially the brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we are determined and strive to restore relations to the way they were.

I also informed him on my participation in the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna at the end of this month, and on the importance of attending and communicating the Lebanese voice in international forums.

We are also preparing for a joint conference for Lebanese and Iraqi businessmen in Baghdad early next year, as Iraq is a promising market and we and them are interested in developing relations.

Questions & Answers:

Responding to a question about the ways of dealing with the issue of the labor force competing with the Lebanese labor force, the Industry Minister replied “I will meet at twelve o’clock with the Minister of Labor to set a working mechanism within the international agreements with the aim of finding a solution to this issue”.

Concerning the incentives that can be secured for the Lebanese industries, which have become necessary, such as the pharmaceutical industry in light of the current crisis, Minister Boujikian said “Regarding  the pharmaceutical industry, the Minister of Health has approved today, in coordination with us, the Lebanese drug, that is, the Lebanese drug that is manufactured in Lebanon, which enjoys high quality and is a source of pride for us, in order to reduce the bill. As for other industries, one of the reasons for the campaign we are undertaking is to secure these incentives, because when we control markets and increase production, we are like someone who achieves his goal. For example, when a factory produces ten thousand packages of a specific product, its cost will be more than if it manufactures twenty thousand”.

Former MP Rahme:

The President met former MP, Emile Rahme, and discussed with him current affairs.

After the meeting, MP Rahme indicated that “In light of the hardship afflicting our country, and high prices of fuel and medicine after the lifting of subsidies, especially for medicines of chronic diseases, the President called for quick action and exceptional measures to halt the deterioration taking place within the framework of the constitution and the law, while preserving the requirements of sovereignty and national dignity”.

“The cabinet must convene and an understanding should take place on all outstanding issues in order to manage the public facility and secure people interests. The President understood my proposal, and asserted that he spares no effort or initiative but is exerting all efforts in order to alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese, and lift the pressures which affect Lebanon in its economy” Rahme said.

“President Aoun is ready to seize all the initiatives which achieve stability of Lebanon, and the return of prosperity to Lebanese territories” Rahme concluded.

Army Command Delegation:

President Aoun met a delegation from the Army Command including: Head of Protocol in the Command, Brigadier General Wassim Saleh, Military Chamber member in the Defense Ministry, Colonel Nizam Hammam, and from the Public Relations Department in the Directorate of Intelligence, Colonel Ahmed Shehadeh.

The delegation conveyed an invitation to President Aoun, to preside over the Independence ceremony, held by the Army Command at the Defense Ministry in Yarzeh on November 22nd.

The celebration will include a symbolic military parade for the occasion.

Congratulation Cables:

The President received an independence congratulatory telegram from the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, David Harley.