Historical foundation to successive eras (1870- 2014)
Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and the North
"Historic Journey and Continuous Accomplishments"
The Chamber of Commerce of Tripoli is one of the oldest chambers of commerce in the Arab countries where businesses boomed through the old port of Tripoli and by road towards Beirut and Palestine on one hand and the cities of Syria and the other Arab countries on both export and import levels.
This is a brief review of a historical journey entrenched in economic and social traditions of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and North Lebanon, the roles of the founders and business actors who led the board of directors and dynamically managed the consolidation of business traditions and featured processions of developments in economic life aimed at the economic advancement of society in all its sectors.
It is therefore a summary, the outcome of trials undergone by major economic establishments in North Lebanon throughout the years and is what it is from administrative expansion and social proliferation thus the highlight of its leading role in moving the economic cycle in all development requirements starting from founding date up to the present stage.
When the Ottoman Empire began in 1824 organizing Foreign Trade, local and international Agencies and chain stores, Sultan Mahmud II (1784-1839 AD) issued by Royal Decree No. 93 / for the year 1240 AH / 1824 " Shahbandar System " in the cities complemented with 2 other decrees: 54 for the year 1245 AH / 1829 and 153 for the year 1247 AH / 1831, and a system to resolve disputes between traders which was released in 1839 and the "Alwirko" trading system. The Shahbandar system paved the way to the emergence of "Chambers of Commerce System" interpreted as such half a century later.
Tripoli’s Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest chambers of commerce in the Arab countries where business, export and import were booming through the old port of Tripoli, across the roads towards Beirut and Palestine on one hand and the cities of Syria and other Arab countries on the other hand.
If Tripoli ‘s Chamber was born in 1870, according to researchers opinion in Ottoman history, then it was founded under the prevailing Shahbandar Traders system of the nineteenth century and business activities in the city were within the "soap Khan," the very first headquarters of Tripoli’s Chamber of Commerce.
There were numerous headquarters for Tripoli and the North Chamber after the “soap Khan”:
1. Offices of Heads of Tripoli’s Chamber
2. In Sheikh Kazem Mikati Office building
3. In Dirani office Building
4-Chamber building on Boulevard Bechara El Khoury in 1980
The construction of buildings belonging to the Chamber was in prominent and prestigious places, especially as it was a manifestation of a civilized and social aspect for delegations, Ambassadors, Consuls, heads and members of foreign chambers and businessmen who visited to gather necessary facts and information relating to the economy.
5- Chamber’s Glass Building Extension 2004
It was then the expansion of the old headquarters, new glass extension to embrace innovative projects, which received support from international donors like the EU, the US Agency for International Development as well other international associations, agencies and non-governmental organizations in that same year.
Since 2009, President Toufic Dabboussi
Following the passing away of President Abdullah Ghandour, the Chamber’s leadership have moved to Toufic Dabboussi bearing presidency burdens since 2009 within the framework of a Chamber Administrative Bureau in addition to his role on the scope of the General Secretariat of the Federation of Lebanese Chambers of Commerce, presidency of the Board of Directors of Mutual Fund to members of the Lebanese Chambers and the center of arbitration and reconciliation; observers of the Chamber’s activities under Dabboussi leadership at the current stage grope its positive role by building constructive relationships which integrates the aspirations of all bodies, communities and institutions to work together to break the economic deadlock of a city still seeking balanced development.
Dabboussi recorded, as President, admiration and appreciation for his leading steps during a meeting held by the Lebanese economic organizations under the chairmanship of President Adnan Kassar on 01/02/2014 expressing confidence in his capabilities and potential at a time where Tripoli and its neighboring areas were witnessing difficult conditions and public affairs, particularly economic, are not easy in the current stage. Solidarity and support were also expressed in development and modernization both in terms of role along with the Business Incubator Association Tripoli (BIAT) and the “Quality Control Laboratories” for the food industry, advanced successes that deserve all the support for their importance in economic development.
Abdallah Nazem Ghandour (1998- 2009)
Since late 1998, Tripoli’s Chamber under chairmanship of Abdallah Nazem Ghandour went through transformation in the ways and means of modern economy principles application in order to keep abreast of scientific development and contemporary innovations in the areas of information technology, telecommunications sector, programming and the web to enter the world of modern commerce.
Mohammad Ibrahim Zock(1995- 1998)
From June 7, 1995 until June 7, 1997 first term
From June 8, 1997 until 7 December 1998 for a second term as president
Dr. Hassan Al Sabah, Najib Monla (1986- 1995)
Hassan Monla: 1992 (second term)
He was re-elected as president for a second term on June 7, 1992 and remained in office until mid June 7, 1995.
Najib Mahmoud Monla (1945- 1986)
Aref Al Hasan (1934- 1945)
He was President after Rashad Adib for more than ten years till the end of World War II in 1945.
Post World War II
Rashad Adib (1928 - 1934)
Hajj Hussein Owaida (1924- 1928)
Hajj Hussein Owaida assumed presidency after President Khairuddine Adra where he began working as an economic institution in cooperation with the Customs Department and was able to convince the city traders of the need to register at the Chamber and enhance export and import for various types of merchandise.
In the wake of the first war and the evacuation of the Ottoman Empire from the Arab countries, soap export gradually eased.