The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders boosts a support network of the Civil Society to the UfM
- Four Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with Associations representative of the Euro-Mediterranean Civil Society
- The Maghreb's integration is essential for the unification of the Mediterranean as a whole
- More than 1.200 experts and economic leaders attended six thematic forums in Barcelona
Barcelona, 27 November 2013 - The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders, which took place from 20 to 22 of November in Barcelona, ended on a positive result. During these three days, more than 1.100 experts and economic leaders have participated to debates and have exchanged ideas and proposals of collaboration within the Euro-Mediterranean Civil Society with the strong will to support the Union for the Mediterranean and Barcelona, in its decisive role as the economic capital and bridge between the northern and southern sides of the Mediterranean.
In the framework of the Week, ASCAME (the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce) has signed four Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with FEMOZA (World Federation of Free Zones), UNIMED (The Mediterranean Universities Union), AFAEMME (The Association of Organizations of Mediterranean Businesswomen) and MEDCITIES (The network of Mediterranean coastal cities), with the aim of encouraging, from the Civil Society, the Union for the Mediterranean, based in Barcelona and creating a joint Mediterranean federations and associations network.
Thus, the North African Business Development Forum (NABDF) showed that the Maghreb region shouldn't be considered anymore only as an opportunity for the European enterprises but must be seen as a real necessity, in time of crisis, for all the Southern European countries such as Spain, France and Italy. The increase of Spanish exports (+30%) or Italian exports (+12%) to the North Africa is a meaningful example. France is not far behind with an increase of its exportations by 8% in Maghreb. The economic integration of North Africa (Maghreb) has become an imperative for the whole Mediterranean.
Another objective reached during the Mediterranean Week has been the consolidation of the public-private cooperation in the field of the Mediterranean cities management. In this regard, 80 entrepreneurs and mayors of Mediterranean cities have met in Barcelona to discuss the basis of a close cooperation regarding services and cities promotion. In terms of training, it has been discussed the setting up of an “Erasmus” allowance in Mediterranean enterprises and the creation of scholarships through support programs addressed to Mediterranean young graduated. Besides, FEMOZA (the World Federation of Free Zones) has announced the creation of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Zones Association gathering hundreds of Mediterranean Free Zones.
Regarding the Islamic Finances, whereas France, United-Kingdom and other European countries have adopted their legislation in order to enable this kind of economic exchanges, other countries such as Spain are lagging behind. Nowadays, it is important to underline that Islamic Finances are present in 53 countries and main North American operators are encouraging their implementation.
The last day was marked by the Meda Women Forum which brought together women entrepreneurs from 16 Mediterranean countries who have discussed the initiatives encouraging jobs' creation in favor of the female entrepreneurship. It must be noticed that, in all Mediterranean countries, the unemployment rate amongst young people stands at around 50%. Also, it is interesting to see that, in Southern countries, the percentage of women with high responsibility reaches 29% whereas in the European Union, this rate is only 22%.
The VII Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders has been organized by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry with the collaboration of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the European Investment Bank (EIB) as well as other institutions.
VII Edition of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (20-22 November, Barcelona)
Organized by ASCAME and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation, with the collaboration of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the European institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other institutions, the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders is one of the major economic events in the Mediterranean region. Bringing together businessmen, businesswomen, representatives of multilateral agencies and international institutions, it offers a unique platform for thinking and exchanging experiences. In other words, this event is aimed atconsolidating and defending the euro-Mediterranean integration and collaboration as the driving forces behind social and economic development of the region.
The aim of the seventh edition is to focus on critical issues for the Mediterranean region like regional integration, city management, women entrepreneurship and also to expand the knowledge of the Islamic Finance, and therefore forums on these matters will be included:
Signature of a MoU between ASCAME & FMBA
The MoU aims to develop the private sector and to achieve economic & social development in the Mediterranean region
Beirut-Barcelona, 20th September 2013 Mr. Mohamed Choucair, President of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), and Mr. Elie Ziade, President of the Mediterranean Federation of Insurance Brokers (FMBA), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between “ASCAME” and “FMBA”. The MoU aims to develop the private sector, particularly the SMEs, and to achieve economic & social development in the Mediterranean region, as well as the creation of joint projects dealing with research, creative projects & business support, and the enabling of an investment environment in order to promote private sector initiatives in the Mediterranean that are fundamental basis for economic, sustainable and long term growth.
President Mohamed Choucair inaugurated the press conference by stressing that “Lebanon and Beirut continue to play an active role in the economic and commercial sphere of the Mediterranean basin. This role and its effectiveness result from the presence of a solid private sector and the transfer of the expertise of successful businessmen worldwide".
President Choucair believes that the insurance sector is essential to all economic activities. He added that “we share the approach of how to revitalize the economy of the Mediterranean countries through our major projects in the Mediterranean region especially the SMEs which form the backbone for the development of the Mediterranean". Choucair considers that that these SMEs play a major role in reducing unemployment rate in the region. He adds: “We must do what is best for everyone with the help of sister organizations and we rely heavily on the FMBA to also help us in this field.”
Proposals to be implemented
Choucair presented some of the proposals that both parties seek to implement:
- The transformation of the FEMIP (Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership) into a development Bank of the Mediterranean, to channel credit to SMEs;
- The creation of Mediterranean Arbitration and Mediation Centers - Beirut already having one and others will follow - to secure the contractors and to promote project initiatives;
- To support the efforts of the European Union in the southern countries where it aims to establish a Small Business Act in order to regulate the working conditions of Small Business and facilitate its development;
- To prepare a great Mediterranean exhibition of franchises together with the Marseille-Provence Chamber of Commerce in order to introduce a maximum amount of companies, especially among SMEs, into this dynamic sector;
- To hold a large investment conference between the Mediterranean and the Gulf, where the North countries would offer their technology and Southern countries a favourable investment environment.
Mr. Ziade’s Speech
President Ziade said that the FMBA and the ASCAME unite for a common goal, namely to achieve stability and to promote and strengthen commerce across the Mediterranean region. He adds: “The FMBA was established 10 years ago, with the aim of making insurance brokers in the Mediterranean countries re-discover the importance and the potential offered by the Mediterranean."
From the FMBA institutional perspective, the Mediterranean is not considered a point of separation between the countries surrounding it, but rather a bridge or a pathway that should unite experts on different levels".
Chairman Ziade explained that the FMBA had started with a small vision from its founders in France, Italy and Spain, while today it comprises 14 associations of intermediaries from 10 different countries in the Mediterranean region with a high potential of expansion of additional member countries.
Mr. Ziade considers the meeting with ASCAME, which has a network of 230 member chambers from the Mediterranean basin, as an important moment. He adds: “Only a wide network of unity and cooperation can make us achieve the results that we want in this regard. ASCAME is a great example for us and an extremely valuable business partner."
For more information: Hugo Heusch Tel. 34.934 169 475 firstname.lastname@example.org
VII Economic Week of the Mediterranean
From the 6th to the 9th of November will take place in Marseille the VII Economic Week of the Mediterranean.
This 7th edition, whose focus will be made on «the role of culture as a driver of economic development in the Mediterranean region» is organized by the Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce (CCIMP) and other institutional partners and coordinated by the Office of Economic Cooperation for the Mediterranean and the Middle East (OCEMO).
The objective of the Mediterranean Economic Week is to give more visibility to the many local initiatives that contribute to the development of Mediterranean economies. It will thus provide comprehensive and documented input on economic development issues in the Mediterranean.
For more information, please go on the WEB site www.semaine-eco-med.com or contact Ms.Isabelle Sauval Dupuy: email@example.com or Ms. Camille Morel firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working Group on Euro-Mediterranean Industrial Cooperation ¿ ASCAME to prepare private sector input for new strategy paper
ASCAME continued its active participation in the Working Group on Euro-Mediterranean Industrial Cooperation during the most recent meeting of the group, which took place in Brussels on June 25th and 26th last. Over the two days delegates from the southern Mediterranean partner countries met with their European counterparts to discuss progress on the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Chart for Enterprises and the convergence with the Small Business Act, which aims to improve the business climate, promote entrepreneurship and coordinate industrial policy with a focus on Small and Medium Enterprises from the conception stage.
During the meeting, representatives from the Palestinian Authority proposed redrafting and updating the strategy of the working group in order to bring them in line with current realities in the Mediterranean basin, a proposal which was strongly supported among the national delegates and observing organizations. For the drafting of this new strategy paper, ASCAME has been asked to support Mr. Jafar Hdaib of the Palestinian Authority – responsible for drafting the strategy – and to act on behalf of the Mediterranean private sector in the elaboration of this paper, by drawing on the strong experience of member organizations who provide daily support to the SMEs of the Mediterranean region and who know well the challenges facing them.
For more information, please go on the following link: EU-Mediterranean
Symposium of ASCAME and Eurochambres
Symposium of ASCAME and Eurochambres at Palais de la Bourse of Marseille: Archives of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) for France and the Mediterranean Region
Two days of symposium have been held at the CCI Marseille Provence, honoring the French and Mediterranean consular assemblies. More than 50 people in charge of archives as well as members of the French and Mediterranean CCI came in order to share their experience and practice about this topic.
Several speeches have taken place, witnessing the great wealth of the CCI's Documentary Collections that are prized sources for the economic history. The means that have been set up to exploit them, either in the frame of research or through actions to the public, are examples of the development that can be made, participating in building up the memory of our consular institutions.
The specific difficulties related to the electronic archiving have led to vivid debates and aroused the interest of the participants. At first, the experience of the VAR CCI has been presented followed by a presentation of Françoise Banat-Berget of the inter-ministerial service of the Archives of France. She reminded the importance of national texts, addressing the subject of international rules, the challenges of which are really important for the future. Moreover, it has been showed how essential it is for the archivist to be surrounded by several actors in order to conduct an electronic archiving project.
In this context, the interventions of Stavros Vardalas of the Athens CCI, Marinella Katsilieri of the Messenian CCI and Concetta Damiani of the Naples CCI have brought a Mediterranean glance on the archiving management. While introducing the way their services are organized, they also presented from a different angle the inherent issues of the documents preservation, especially in case of natural disasters that the Mediterranean area could be faced with. The communication of Pascal Even, Head of the Department of diplomatic archiving of the Foreign and European Affairs initiated the debates about the French CCI abroad, especially the one of Alexandria.
Positive review of the first year of Mohamed Choucair's presidency at ASCAME
Beirut-Barcelona, 25th June 2013. It has been already a year since Mohamed Choucair was elected as President of ASCAME; the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the results of this year are positive. During this year, Mr. Choucair has followed his objective of consolidation of the Association through the signature of strategic agreements with the aim of developing the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the consolidation of the Euro-Mediterranean integration zone.
At the same time, ASCAME has managed to make its members participate in the financing of European and international projects for a total amount of 40 million Euros in collaboration with other organizations. This means that ASCAME and its network of chambers of commerce are appointed by different European and International agencies to manage and allow the SME from both sides of the Mediterranean to get credit and investment of projects focused on the Euro-Mediterranean development.
Mr. Choucair has also persued in his efforts in order to encourage the creation of a Mediterranean Arbitration Center. Furthermore, he has been able to increase the presence of ASCAME in international economic organizations thanks to interviews with economic and politic leaders of the euro-Mediterranean region. Among them, he has met the President of the French republic Mr. François Hollande, the General Secretary of the Union for the Mediterranean, Mr. Fathallah Sijilmassi; the President of the Lebanese Republic, Mr. Michel Sleiman; the Vice-president of the EIB, Mr. de Fontaine Vive and the President of the Catalan government, Mr. Artur Mas among other important personalities.
With regards to the agreements, President Choucair has signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the EIB on the 26th of November of 2013. This agreement renews the partnership in favor of the Mediterranean firms. By combining their competences and means of action in order to support the private sector, ASCAME and the EIB try to best support the projects' promoters and job growth initiatives.
For more information:
Hugo Heusch Tel. 34.934 169 475 email@example.com
On June 18th 2013 the 11th edition of the Mediterranean Logistics and Transport Forum and the 6th Mediterranean Ports and Shipping Summit will take place in Barcelona in the framework of the 15th Anniversary of the International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition (SIL 2013).
Organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Consorci of la Zona Franca de Barcelona, organizers of the SIL, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona, the UfM (Union for the Mediterranean), the EIB (European Investment Bank) and others, this forum will represent an exclusive opportunity to meet more than 300 actors of the transport and logistics sector in the Mediterranean and explore business opportunities.
For more information about the program, please go to the following link: http://www.silbcn.com/en/actos_jornadas/forum_mediterraneo.asp
In order to register for free before 12th June, kindly go to the following link: http://silbcn.com/en/actos_jornadas/acreditarse_foro2013.asp
For more information:Ms. Gisèle Muñoz by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: +34 93 263 81 50.
12th Conférence FEMIP - Athènes - 18 et 19 Avril 2013 - Megaron Athens International Conference Centre
Les 18 et 19 Avril 2013 aura lieu à Athènes la 12ème Conférence FEMIP organisée par la Banque Européenne d'Investissement (BEI) en collaboration avec le Commission Européenne et l'Organisation Maritime Internationale (OMI). Cette conférence de haut niveau offrira une plateforme interactive pour la discussion et le débat et représentera par le biais de tables rondes engagées, l'opportunité de discuter des questions essentielles telles que:
- Créer des clusters maritimes et promouvoir les réseaux à travers les instituts de formation
- Combler le fossé de la sécurité et la surveillance effective
- Adresser des synergies grâce à des projets et des opportunités pour le développement et les investissements.
Pour plus d'information ou pour vous inscrire, veuillez envoyer un mail à l'adresse suivante: 12thFEMIPconference@gopa-cartermill.com ou vous rendre sur la page WEB : http://www.amiando.com/12thFEMIP_Conference