Private industrial zone to be developed in Shouf. To include agro-industrial enterprises and agricultural lands - Lebanon

Private industrial zone
to be developed in Shouf
To include agro-industrial enterprises and agricultural lands
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The Iklim Fund for Development and Innovation has launched the Iklim Economic Zone in the Shouf. It is expected to be completed in early 2019.

The Iklim Fund was established by the Lebanon Fund for Development and Innovation (LFDI), in collaboration with the local community and the private sector in the region. LFDI is chaired by Marcel Daoud.

Subscriptions to the Iklim Fund are ongoing. The fund will establish a management company to operate the project.

The total area of the economic zone is 96,000 square meters. The land is leased from the Maronite Diocese. It will include small- and medium-sized agro-industrial factories, and agricultural land. Imad Hamdan, General Manager of LFDI said: “There are requests from many entrepreneurs to join the zone. So far 15 have been accepted.” Industries in the zone would include olive oil, carob molasses, tomato paste, and others.

The Iklim fund will have 26 percent equity in any funded company. This is in exchange for support, such as conducting feasibility and financial studies, branding, and marketing its products. Banque Misr Liban (BML) will provide investors subsidized loans through Kafalat. The fund will guarantee financed companies.

The Iklim fund’s shares can be returned to the companies once loans are repaid.

Hamdan said: “International partners and the LFDI will provide the funds to rehabilitate the land.” The required investment is estimated at $1 million.

The Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPO), an affiliation of UNIDO, and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development will support the project. They will provide the funds required for infrastructure including roads, water treatment system, solar energy stations, and laboratories for controlling the produce.

Hamdan said that ITPO-UNIDO provided training sessions for 38 people to train the entrepreneurs on how to create a business plan and manage industrial projects.

The Investment Development Authority in Lebanon (IDAL) provided investment incentives for the project. The zone will benefit from IDAL’s Agri Plus program for exports.

The Beirut Arab University will help enterprises in developing varieties of food products. It will provide innovative solutions that add value to their products. All the products manufactured in the Iklim Economic Zone will have the same brand name, ‘Bioklim’.

LFDI have plans to establish similar funds for Tripoli, Zahle, Akkar, Nabatieh, Metn, Shouf, and Beirut.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: May 15, 2018