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Cablegate: Dangers of Climate Change On the Big Screen (Economic Week

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RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHLB #1195/01 3070603
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030603Z NOV 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5989
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIRUT 001195

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECIN ECON EFIN PGOV SENV LE
SUBJECT: DANGERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE BIG SCREEN (ECONOMIC WEEK
IN REVIEW, OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2009)

CONTENTS
--------

-- DANGERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE BIG SCREEN
-- IPR WORKSHOP FOR JUDGES
-- NATIONAL CARRIER ANNOUNCES RECORD PROFITS
-- RUSSIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO OPEN REGIONAL OFFICE IN BEIRUT
-- LEBANON IT AND ICT REGIONAL PLAYER

DANGERS OF CLIMATE
CHANGE ON THE BIG SCREEN
------------------------

1. (SBU) On October 24, an Lebanese environmental NGO, the League of
Independent Activists (IndyAct), hosted a screening of the drama
documentary, "The Age of Stupid," highlighting the dangers of
climate change, in collaboration with the British Embassy, the
American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce, and the Green Party. As part
of the Global Campaign against Climate Change, IndyAct also
organized the "man in the cube" project, whereby an activist was
placed in a transparent box for three days to highlight the dangers
of global warming. Organizers noted that more than 600 people
attended the film screening, while they have already received
requests from several private companies to screen the movie for
their staff. According to IndyAct, no Arab government has adopted
the 350 parts per million carbon dioxide concentration target that
IndyAct and the global climate change movement advocate.

IPR WORKSHOP FOR JUDGES
-----------------------

2. (U) A three-day workshop for judges on intellectual property
rights (IPR), organized by the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MOET)
in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO) and the Judicial Training Institute (JTI), kicked off in
Beirut on October 26. All of the current 16 trainee judges
attended, along with more than 30 junior judges. The workshop
featured an overview of IPR, IPR laws in Lebanon, enforcement
issues, and discussion of IPR-related court cases. JTI head Sami
Mansour noted the importance of enforcement of IPR laws in Lebanon
and the need to issue tougher sentences against infringers to
improve the IPR environment. The Lebanon Judicial Strengthening
Project, a USAID-funded project run by the National Center for State
Courts (NCSC) since November 2007, is also working on increasing
awareness and understanding of IPR in the judiciary.

NATIONAL CARRIER
ANNOUNCES RECORD PROFITS
------------------------

3. (U) National airline Middle East Airlines (MEA) resumed direct
flights to Baghdad on October 29 for the first time in 25 years.
MEA will operate four flights a week, according to MEA chairman
Mohammad El-Hout. Meanwhile, El-Hout said he expects MEA net
profits to top $100 million in 2009 as MEA benefits from the record
number of tourists who have visited Lebanon so far this year. Air
Transport World Magazine earlier ranked MEA among 25 leading
airlines worldwide in terms of net profit and operational income in
2008.

RUSSIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO
OPEN REGIONAL OFFICE IN BEIRUT
------------------------------

4. (U) The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will open a
regional office in Beirut in early 2010, according to Byblos Bank's
weekly economic report. The office will work on boosting
commercial, industrial, and cultural relations with Lebanon and the
region, as well as organize trade fairs to promote Russian products.
In 2008, Lebanese exports to Russia were valued at $8 million,
while Russian exports to Lebanon were valued at $503 million.

LEBANON IT AND ICT
REGIONAL PLAYER
------------------

5. (U) Lebanon ranked 35 out of 173 countries worldwide and second
in the Arab world in exports of Information Technology (IT) and
Information Communication Technology (ICT) in 2007, according to the
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). UNCTAD also noted
that Lebanon exported $6.95 billion in IT and ICT-enabled services,
making it one of the largest exporters of such services in
developing economies. These exports rose by 13.7% in 2007,
accounting for 26.3% of IT and ICT-enabled exports in the Arab
world.

6. (U) In parallel, Lebanon imported $5.14 billion in IT and

BEIRUT 00001195 002 OF 002


ICT-enabled services in 2007, making it the second-highest importer
in the Arab region. These imports also rose by 22% in 2007,
accounting for 13.4% of IT and ICT-enabled imports in the Arab
world.

SISON

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