News & Media

October 01, 2013
Lebanese Wine: Civilization and Vision for the Future

On Tuesday October 1, 2013, under the high patronage of the President of the Lebanese Republic, His Excellency General Michel Sleiman, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, organized a conference entitled “Lebanese Wine: Civilization and Vision for the Future”. Participators in the conference included the Minister of Energy and Water, and acting Minister of Agriculture, representing the President of the Lebanese Republic, His Excellency Mr. Gebran Bassil, the representative of the Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Al Rai, the Maronite Patriarchal Vicar, Mgr. Samir Mazloum, the Minister of Labor, His Excellency Mr. Salim Jreissati, MPs Mr. Walid Khoury and Mrs. Gilberte Zouein, the General Director of the Lebanese Maronite Order (LMO), Reverend Father Abbot Tannous Nehme, the Superior General of the Choueirite Basilien Order, Archimandrite Elie Maalouf, the President of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, the former Minister, Mr. Adel Kortas, former MP, Mr. Salim Aoun, the representative of the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Jean Kahwaji, Mr. Doraid Zahr El Din, the representative of the General Director of the General Security, General Abas Ibrahim, Brigadier General Walid Aoun, the representative of the State Security, General Georges Karaa, Major Marwan Safi, priests, ambassadors and political, economic and educational figures, as well as representatives of the wine sector in Lebanon.

Mr. Gebran Bassil, Minister of Energy and Water, and acting Minister of Agriculture, representing the President of the Lebanese Republic, opened the conference: “We welcome the delegation of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) and, through this Organization, we will convey to the world the message of cultural diversity and human unity.” He considered that the progress of the wine sector is due to the role the government plays in supporting this sector.

Then, Bishop Mazloum delivered the speech of Patriarch Rai saying that “The agricultural sector in Lebanon suffers from a chronic deadlock requiring the design of an executive and scientific plan with an agricultural strategy aiming to transform the traditional crops into modern crops.” He hoped the wine sector would benefit from more support from the government in the future and he assured it can become one of the most important Lebanese economic sectors.

The General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Eng. Louis Lahoud believes this conference crowns the development plan of the wine sector. He welcomed the OIV delegation, presided over by Mr. Frederico Castellucci, and added: “The success of the Lebanese Wine Day that has taken place in Paris on May 14 during last year allowed this industry to reinforce the image of Lebanon and to create job opportunities in order to expand the markets in Europe and in the world…I have the pleasure to announce the organization of another Lebanese Wine Day in Berlin, Germany in May 2014.”

The President of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz indicated that: “The scientific study of Lebanese wine paved the way for USEK, which is keen to show the positive points about Lebanon, to organize this conference.” He continued: “USEK is affiliated to the LMO…Ten years ago, this Order, through Rev. Fr. Nimatallah Hachem, launched the idea of the project Adyar.”

The Director of the Wine Production Union in Lebanon, Mr. Zafer Al Chawi, presented the activities of the Union and its wine production in 1997 and showed that the objective is to study the wine sector and suggest solutions in order to develop it and promote it.

The President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, Mr. Nehmat Ephrem, proudly stated that the Lebanese industrialists succeeded in developing quality production.

The Vice-Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon delivered the speech of the President of the Chamber, Mr. Mouhamad Choukair, and pointed out that “The wine industry in Lebanon has developed far from the economic and political situation and realized great achievements in external markets.”

Finally, The General Director of the OIV, Mr. Frederico Castellucci declared: “When I took office as General Director of the Organization, we, along with the Wine Production Union in Lebanon, set out to organize an international conference on vine and wine in this country. Since Lebanon joined the OIV, in 1995, the relations between your country and the Organization have always been close and fruitful.” 

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