BEIRUT: A development workshop has recommended creating a special economic zone in Tripoli to transform the northern city into a trade, oil and technologies hub.
Future Movement leader Saad Hariri’s adviser on north Lebanon Abdul-Ghani Kabbara Sunday presented the recommendations that were drawn from a workshop held Saturday at the Engineers Association in Tripoli, the National News Agency reported.
The one-day workshop was aimed at creating “a positive atmosphere to encourage businessmen in Tripoli and the north and all of Lebanon, particularly young people, to inject capital investment in projects and create job opportunities,” according to Kabbara when he introduced the workshop last week.
The recommendations centered on the economic development of Lebanon’s second largest city, which has suffered from economic stagnation and high unemployment for years.
The creation of a special economic zone, the re-establishment of railways and the construction of a dam on the Nahr al-Bared River were among the recommendations to come out of the workshop.
The workshop also mentioned “transforming Tripoli into a trade and industry hub on the Mediterranean.” It called on the government to appoint of a head for the economic zone’s board of directors and carry on with the renovation of Tripoli’s port.
The workshop also recommended enhancing Tripoli’s role in the oil and gas industry by building oil refineries and reservoirs along its beaches and renovating the pipeline infrastructure to meet future needs.
Kabbara also spoke about taking advantage of the country's main telecommunications cable, which passes through Tripoli, to transform the city into a technological center in the region.
The workshop also recommended enhancing the role of the Rashid Karami Exhibition Center and other cultural sites in the city, as well as protecting its archaeological heritage.