A small crowd gathered under a tent located on a 50-acre site in the Bernard Bayou Industrial District which, by next year, will be known as Future Pipe Industries.
The industry's chairman, Fouad Makhzoumi, celebrated the recent decision to expand before producing the first product by throwing a good old southern barbecue - simply a way of saying Mississippi is now open for business, and they couldn't have picked a better place.
"Well, when we were going around the country looking for a site, we wanted to feel...you know we come from the Middle east, and for us the Middle east, you know you have to have this family feeling, you have to have this community feeling, and in addition, we felt that we can find the business ethics that we're looking for and really Mississippi gave us all of this," Makhzoumi said.
Future Pipe Industries has already started hiring employees, some of whom have been training for the past six months.
The new facility will create about 300 jobs, and even though the company has decided to increase not only its investment but the facility as well, everything continues to be on track.
"We're coming back here on the 21st of this month, and we're starting because as you said now we are doubling the capacity, so we have to redesign the whole factory, which we will be doing. So they will start discussions on the 21st of September and that will take a couple of months, so we are hoping we should be signing the contract for construction for 2004," Makhzoumi said.
Future Pipe Industries has also just acquired a company in Houston, Texas.
The companies in Gulfport and Houston will compliment each other, helping to export goods to Asia and to Latin America.