Promoting Trade and Investment: the UfM holds meetings with experts and representatives from Ministries of UfM Countries on Trade and on Intellectual Property Rights
- The Action Plan on UfM Cooperation on fight against Piracy and Counterfeiting is one of the important deliverables of the UfM Ministerial Conference on Trade, held last year in Brussels
- Intellectual Property-intensive sectors account for 42% of the European Union’s Gross Domestic Product, worth €5.7 trillion and generates 38% of all jobs
- About 5% of all good imported into the European Union are counterfeit or pirated, which is equivalent to €85 billion in illegal trade
- The UfM Secretariat is actively engaged in promoting trade in the UfM Region, given the very low economic integration levels, specially amongst the southern Mediterranean countries
Brussels, 12-13 March 2019. Over two days, The UfM Co-Presidency presided the UfM 1st Meeting of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Experts on Fight against Piracy and Counterfeiting, as well as the UfM 6th Focal Points Meeting on Trade and Investment Facilitation Mechanism (TIFM), both held in Brussels.
During the meetings, the UfM Deputy Secretary General for Business Development and Employment, Rachid Maaninou, took stock of the efforts undertaken by the UfM Secretariat in terms of activities related to the Trade segment, which are also aligned with the mandate given by the UfM Trade Ministers in their 2018 Declaration. This included highlighting the UfMs’ cooperation with the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ) to offer to the Agadir Agreement Member States – as a pilot phase – its support to hold technical assistance and training in the area of trade policy, directed to ministries, customs authorities and businesses alike.
Maaninou also shed light on the organization of the UfM Business Forum in Cairo on 18 June 2019 in Cairo under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Egypt, as well as the UfM Workshop on Informal Business Integration organized by the UfM Secretariat on 18th of March 2019 in Barcelona, which will discuss regional efforts to tackle the informal economy issues. It is important to highlight here that this a purely UfM initiative by which it complements the efforts pursued in the Trade segment.
The two Meetings brought together experts and focal points from the respective Ministries of the UfM Member States to discuss the priorities for implementing the IPR enforcement in their countries, reflect on difficulties in mapping and quantifying infringements, take stock of the progress made in using the International Trade Centre’s tool on Trade and Investment Facilitation Mechanism, and exchange best practices from the Member States.
The UfM Region remains to be one of the least integrated regions in the world, with only 9% of total trade flows in the region taking place between the EU and its Southern partners, and a further 1% flowing amongst Southern UfM countries.