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[Canton Fair Story]A Lebanese Businessman and His Family’s “Attachment to China”

Source:广交会通讯 Author:

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At 10:30 am of October 15, the 126th Canton Fair just kicked off. In front of the booth of Shanghai Minmetals Development Ltd. in Area C, two Lebanese businessmen greeted sales staff of the company just like talking with relatives. They were the junior Omar Faher. Their family has been trading with Shanghai Minmetals since 1957, when Omar’s grandfather had initial contact with the company. Over the years, the family business has always stayed with the Chinese company and served as the sole agency of Shanghai Minmetals.

Shanghai Minmetals is as old as the People’s Republic of China, with a history of 70years. It made connections with people from all over the world, and maintained close relations especially with those who are friendly to China. Its export sales staff have changed over the years and its business scale is getting bigger, but the friendship with global customers is steadfast and even getting loser.

Shanghai Minmetals’ trade with the Faher family dates back 60 years ago. A trade contract signed on December 9, 1959 read 15 tons of iron wire, valued £100,000. This was the first business between the senior Omar Faher and Shanghai Minmetals. Since then, the Faher family has been in constant trade with Shanghai Minmetals for 60 years. From the old Omar Faher to his son and then to his grandson, the three generations continue their friendship with China. The range of business has also expanded from iron wire to today’s screw, steel wire, iron wire mesh cover and more.

The three generations of Omar Faher are China’s “die-hard fans”. They send greeting letters and cards to Chinese friends during festivals for decades, and have a clear standpoint in major issues of principle. They strongly agree with Deng Xiaoping’s “one country, two systems” and clearly hope that Taiwan will return soon. On September 26 this year, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Omar Faher sent a warm congratulatory letter.

Like many people in the Middle East, Omar Faher is hardworking, kind and honest. The three generations work diligently, and didn’t change their original aspiration even at times of turmoil. One year when Lebanon was in war and the trading environment was very bad, Shanghai Minmetals sent them a letter of greeting in time. Omar Faher wrote back to Shanghai Minmetals: “No matter how the war goes, even if there is only one person left in my company, we will still perform the contract.” This kind of integrity and emphasis on friendship are passed down from generation to generation, which highlights the noble sentiment of the Faher family and lays a solid foundation for their friendship with Shanghai Minmetals for the years.

At this session of the Canton Fair, the young Omar Faher visited Shanghai Minmetals again. Both sides expressed their desire to further expand trade cooperation and enhance friendship. In the end, the young Omar Fahers sent a plaque to Shanghai Minmetals. On the top of the plaque are the national flags of China and Lebanon. Letters in the middle read “From 1949 to 2019, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Shanghai Minmetals, we’d like to offer our most sincere wishes”. This plaque is not only a witness of China’s glorious course of development and broad friendship all over the world in the past 70 years, but also the friendship between the Faher family and a Chinese company for many years.

“Diamond” is a well-known trademark of Shanghai Minmetals with 70 years of history. This quality brand has been trusted by many customers. 70 years of thick and thin, the brand of hardware products has expanded to five continents. A diamond lasts forever. It is because of a large number of sincere and long-term friends like Omar Faher, and the mutual benefit, mutual trust and mutual assistance that Shanghai Minmetals has grown from small to large and gone global. In 2018, the company’s import and export reached 2.83 billion CNY. Today, as economic globalization and the multilateral trading system are facing severe challenges, we especially need to cherish the friendship with trading partners from various countries, and seek win-win cooperation!

Source: Canton Fair Press Center