The first of its kind in the Arab region to promote marketing, competitiveness and exports of products
A press conference was held this morning at the Union of Arab Chambers – Adnan Kassar Building – to launch the Arab Packaging Competition for Professionals “Arab StarPack Pro”. The launching event was held at the side lines of the Arab Private Sector Forum which was organized by the Union of Arab Chambers in cooperation with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture and the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States. The Forum is part of the events and activities planned as part of the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit to be held in Beirut next Sunday.
The competition was launched by the Arab Federation for Paper, Printing and Packaging Industries in cooperation with the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organisation, the Arab Federation for Food Industries and the Union of Arab Chambers. The competition will be organization by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Lebanese Packaging Center (LibanPack), headed by Mr. Nabil Gemayel, and with the support of the World Packaging Organisation and the Lebanese Ministry of Industry.
Statements were given by Dr. Fady Gemayel, the President of the Arab Federation for Paper, Printing and Packaging Industries; Dr. Khaled Hanafy, the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers; Mr. Dani Gedeon, the Director General of the Ministry of Industry; Dr. Hayssam Jaffan, President of the Arab Federation for Food Industries; Dr. Johannes Bergmair, the Secretary General of the World Packaging Organisation, Mr. Ali Badarneh, UNIDO Project Manager/Representative; and Ms. Soha Atallah, Director of LibanPack.
- Dr. Fady Gemayel, the President of the Arab Federation for Paper, Printing and Packaging Industries
Mr. Gemayel’s statement focused on the importance of packaging from a marketing perspective. In the past packaging was confined to the logistical dimension of protecting and distributing products, now it additionally plays a significant role in promoting and selling the product.
He further added that packaging directly contributes to the promotion of intra-Arab trade, which ranges from 10% to 15% of the total Arab trade, which is a modest figure, given the country’s unacceptable unemployment rate.
- Mr. Dani Gedeon, the Director General of the Ministry of Industry
On behalf of the Ministry of Industry, Mr. Gedeon welcomed the Arab delegations participating in the Arab Summit and Arab Private Sector Forum, emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships and the Ministry’s efforts in establishing such partnerships with the private sector.
Mr. Gedeon also mentioned the important role played by LibanPack and the development of its interventions since its establishment, including the organization of student packaging competitions and now the launch of the industry level competition.
- Dr. Hayssam Jaffan, President of the Arab Federation for Food Industries
Mr. Jaffan’s statement focused on the importance of packaging based on two main functions: First is the visual design/identity of the package which distinguishes/identifies the product enabling in to attract consumers as well as provide all the information related to the product; and second is the protection function that ensures that the product reaches the consumer in good condition, which is significantly important for food industries as it guarantees the protection of the product and extension of its shelf-life, which accordingly has a positive impact on the consumer’s safety and food security.
- Ms. Soha Atallah, Director of LibanPack
Ms. Atallah proceeded with explaining the reasons for launching the competition, focusing on the importance of packaging for commercial, marketing and competitive processes. She further explained that this competition is the first of its kind in the region and that UNIDO and LibanPack have accepted the challenge of organizing it based on the success and experience gained by LibanPack in organizing the Arab Student StarPack for 9 consecutive years. The industry level competition aims at increasing the awareness among SMEs on the importance of developing capacities in the field of packaging to improve competitiveness, marketing and export potential of many sectors, specifically the food, medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sector. Winners of the competition are eligible to apply in the international packaging competition organized by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO).
- Mr. Ali Badarneh, UNIDO Project Manager/ Representative
Mr. Badarneh expressed UNIDO’s appreciation for the participation and engagement of the Arab partner and support institutions. Mr. Badarneh highlighted the role of LibanPack in the development and expansion of the competition, emphasizing that it is no longer considered a national center but rather plays a regional role, supporting the packaging sector in Arab countries to reach international levels. He explained that this is a great honour for Lebanon and the Arab world and that UNIDO aspires to implement this competition in accordance to best practices and standards.
- Dr. Johannes Bergmair, the Secretary General of the World Packaging Organisation
Dr. Bergmair explained that the World Packaging Organisation has been following the activities of LibanPack and appreciates it professionalism, knowledge and expertise in the area of packaging. Dr. Bergmair further confirmed WPO’s willingness to support and cooperate with LibanPack on the regional and international level, specifically in launching the Arab packaging competition for professionals which will allow winners to participate in the international competition organized by the World Packaging Competition.