Opening Speech of H.E. Adnan Kassar at 2017 Xi’an Silk Road Business Summit
8 Sep 2017


Opening Speech


H.E. Adnan Kassar


2017 Xi'an Silk Road Business Summit and Silk Road International Culture Week


Heritage Hall of Tang West Market Museum

Xi'an, China

8 September 2017



Your Excellency Vice Chairman Wang Qinmin, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference,

Your Excellency Vice Governor Wei Zengjun, Shaanxi Province

Secretary General Yu Jianlong, ICC China

Chairman d'Orville, Chairman Inaishvilli,

And my dear friend, Chairman Lu Jianzhong,


It is a great pleasure being with you here today, in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China and the starting point of the Silk Road, to launch the 2017 Xi'an Silk Road Business Summit and Silk Road International Culture Week.


As the honorary Chairman of SRCIC, I had the great pleasure to jointly host its first road show in the Arab world in my home country, Lebanon, this past April, under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon.


During the event, SRCIC, as the first Chamber of Commerce named after the Silk Road, impressed the government and private sector of Lebanon with its ambitious projects covering various fields including business and finance, trade and education, culture and tourism.


The Lebanese government attached great importance to our event and has sent a high level delegation to attend here, including the advisor of the Prime Minister Mr. Kabbara, the President of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone – former Minister of Finance Mrs. Al Hassan and President of the investment Development authority Mr. Itani, who are all with us today.


I have taken my position as the honorary Chairman of this great organization to heart, as it is initiated in China, a country very dear to me.  Also because of SRCIC's pioneering strategy to build a platform connecting business communities along the One Belt One Road and this reminds me of the adventure of my brother Adel and I to China when we were still in our early 20s in 1953. 


As well, the SRCIC has brought me back to the world of the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Organization which is a partner creator of SRCIC.  I held various positions in the ICC to become Chairman in 1999 and 2000, making me to date the first Arab Chairman of this World Business Organization.


Adel and I are proud to be the first Arab businessmen introducing Chinese products to the Arab world and other international markets.  We have witnessed a then young People's Republic of China grow into today's leading economic superpower.


The One Belt One Road Initiative proposed by His Excellency President Xi Jinping is a great example of this visionary leadership. As I told President Xi Jinping while personally receiving from him the China-Arab Friendship Outstanding Contribution Award in Cairo in January 2016, I will spare no effort to support the One Belt One Road Initiative. This is because not only does it serve as an engine for the economic development of China, but also as a bridge connecting all the countries within the framework to realize a common prosperity.  And with prosperity comes peace.  


This is what we appreciate most in Chinese philosophy; cooperation is always about win-win between partners.


My country Lebanon is looking to reclaim its role as the key link for China in our region.  Thousands of years ago, the ancient Silk Road that started in Xi'an, traversed through to Lebanon where our ancestors the Phoenicians dyed the silk and exported it by sea, as they were the first merchants of the sea, to the Romans in Europe. 


We then played a strategic role on the Silk Road, and as you will hear from the Lebanese officials with us today during our summit discussions, Lebanon is uniquely equipped to play a strategic role as a regional hub for China on the One Belt & One Road strategy.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


As members of the business communities in Silk Road countries, we all appreciate China's initiative to benefit economic growth and development, people and cultural exchanges towards a global plan for peace and prosperity for all mankind, on the basis of mutual benefit and respect.


I am confident that the 2017 Xi'an Silk Road Business Summit and Silk Road International Culture Week within the strategy promoted by President Xi will be a great success.


And so I extend my best wishes to the participants of this event, to all those from China and Silk Road countries.


Thank you!