Madrid, 14 February 2014. Following the Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean (5+5 Dialogue), which was held at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean on 23 October 2013, and with the aim of presenting its conclusions and results in Madrid, the Secretariat of the UfM, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC), the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE), the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and Casa Mediterráneo organised a meeting with Spanish business leaders at the headquarters of the CEOE.
The meeting included a presentation of the summary and outcomes of the First Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean (5+5 Dialogue), namely:
- The official launch of a joint Spanish-Algerian initiative on water. The purpose of this initiative is the final adoption of the Water Strategy for the Western Mediterranean, in order to promote the sustainable use of water at local, national and regional levels.
- The official announcement by the Maghreb Employers Union (UME) of the launching of a Maghreb Initiative on Trade and Investment (IMCI), which will take place on 18 February in Morocco on the occasion of the Third Maghreb Entrepreneurs Forum. This initiative aims to boost intra-Maghreb trade by providing a roadmap and action plan for the short, medium and long term.
- The establishment and first meeting of the 5+5 Business Council, announced by a joint statement of the Heads of the 5+5 business delegations.
The event was chaired by the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo de Benito; the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi; and the Vice-President of the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain, Juan Lazcano.
The second edition of the Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean (5+5 Dialogue) will take place in Lisbon on 21 May 2014.
In the framework of his visit to the Spanish capital, UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi gave a lecture at the Real Instituto Elcano on the role of the UfM as an operational platform for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and development.