Brazil is going to help Lebanon recycle waste to be used in the construction of roads and houses. The information was supplied by Luiz Felippe Pinheiro Júnior, Foreign Relations national manager at the Caixa Econômica Federal (Brazilian Savings Bank).
The bank was appointed by the government of Brazil to implement a cooperation project with Lebanon, after a Brazilian mission went to the Arab country in October last year, in order to discuss possibilities of cooperation for local reconstruction.
Due to its operations in the housing financing sector, the Caixa has an engineering division concerned with studying ways of lowering costs for construction work. The aim is to reduce expenses in projects financed by the bank, especially for the low-income population.
The use of waste – debris of demolished or destroyed buildings – is already practiced in Brazil. According to Pinheiro Júnior, it is possible, for example, to use concrete as a sub-base for roads, and to turn ceramic blocks into new blocks to be used in residential units.
The Caixa participated in the mission organized by the Itamaraty (Brazilian Foreign Office), which also counted on the participation of other government and private sector organizations, such as the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. Representing Lebanon were the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Ministry of Management.
The latter is in charge of carrying out the cooperation project in the construction field, along with the Caixa. The Lebanese were in Brazil in May and, during visits to projects such as recycling plants, they became acquainted with the way in which Brazil reuses material in construction.
The next step, according to Pinheiro Júnior, will be to devise a methodology for Lebanon. The Caixa should also transfer to Lebanon its experience with correspondent banking, a system in which commercial establishments provide banking services, such as receiving payments of bills, payments of benefits, opening accounts, and providing credit to the low income population.
One of the main goals of correspondent banking is to include in the banking network impoverished people from regions that possess no infrastructure in the sector.
During the visit to Brazil of representatives from the Lebanese Ministry of Management, last May, the group also got to know the Caixa's correspondent banking operations. In this field, a project for adapting the service to Lebanon should be developed as well.
The Lebanese who visited Brazil made a point of presenting the Brazilian experience to the Central Bank in the Arab country, in order to assess its viability in the country.
The Lebanese, according to Pinheiro Júnior, were also interested in the electronic stock exchange, and digital certification systems used by the Caixa. The two technologies would be adopted by the Lebanese government.