December 2, 2016
Since its establishment in 1998, the JICA Alumni Association in Lebanon (Leba-JICA) has paid great attention to strengthen the relationship with Embassy of Japan in Lebanon and to empower the friendship and cooperation with other sister associations in the region.
In 2007, Leba-JICA took the initiative to organize annual regional workshop inviting members from JICA Alumni Associations from different Arab countries to participate in.Since then, different workshops were held in Lebanon covering several vital issues of big importance to the participated countries.
The previous workshops discussed topics related to: Water Management, Eco Tourism, Climate Changes, Quality Assurance, Green Buildings, Japan Industries, E-Government, Disaster Risk Management and Capacity Building of the JICA Alumni Associations in the Arab Countries. The Last workshop that was held in 2 December 2016, tackled an issue that is the subject of discussion nowadays which is Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The workshop title "The Best Approaches for the Development of SMEs in the Arab Countries for facing the Regional Economic Crisis" was agreed upon by the participated countries due to the importance of developing SMEs especially under the current critical period and economic difficulties some of the Arab countries are facing.
The workshop took place on 2 December 2016 at Ramada Plaza Hotel in Beirut with the participation of Alumni association members from: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt.
It was inaugurated under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Industry Dr. Hussein Al Haj Hassan and attended by the Charge D'affaires at Embassy of Japan in Lebanon Mr. Keisuke Yamanaka and JICA Syria Office staff.
At the opening ceremony of the event H.E. the Minister delivered a valuable speech in which he confirmed the importance of securing political stability in order to achieve economic development. In addition, the Director General of the Ministry of Industry Engineer Mr. Dany Gedeon talked about the best approaches to develop SMEs in Lebanon. Later on, participants from each country delivered presentations related to the development of SMEs in his/her country. All of the presentations focused on the objectives of SMEs, challenges such as: Finance, Infrastructure, Marketing and many others,
At the end of the workshop, the participants concluded the meeting with various recommendations such as:
Later, Leba-JICA board members visited the office of H.E. the Minister of Industry and provided him with copy of the list of recommendations and thanked him for his kind efforts and participation in the opening of the workshop.
As a JICA office staff in charge of following-up the activities of JICA Alumni Associations in Syria and Lebanon, I can say that holding such activity is considered a great tool for transferring information and exchanging knowledge among the alumni members and a real chance for them to meet JICA office members and experts. Thus, the alumni objectives of spreading knowledge and experiences are achieved.
Workshop was opened by H. E. Minister of Industry and representative of Embassy of Japan in Lebanon and JICA
Presentations were made by Alumni Associations in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
Information and experience sharing among colleagues in the region helps to strengthen partnership between JICA and Alumni Associations.