Barcelona, 18 December 2014. With an overall goal of enhancing regional integration and boosting trade between the two shores of the Mediterranean, the UfM Secretariat hosted the worskshop “Inter-Trade development and supporting SMEs in Agadir Agreement member countries” on 14 December in Cairo. The event was organised together with the Agadir Technical Unit and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade, Industry and SMEs with the aim to stimulate South-South industrial cooperation. It was opened by the Egyptian Industry Minister, H.E. Mounir Fakhry AbdelNour, who underlined the importance of joining forces and exerting more efforts to reap the benefits offered by the Agadir Agreement.
The workshop was a follow-up to the first meeting held in Barcelona on 16 December, 2013 to discuss ways to support SMEs that apply the system of Pan Euro-Mediterranean cumulation of origin among Agadir member countries.
The meeting benefitted from the participation of the member countries of the Agreement, key financial institutions and regional organisations such as the EIB, EBRD and ITC. They discussed and analyse the outlines of a joint project and the actions to support industrial integration and greater SMEs competitiveness in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia.
On the margins of the workshop in Cairo, the UfM Senior Deputy Secretary General for Business Development, Claudio Cortese, held talks with H.E. Hany Kadry Dimian, Finance Minister of Egypt, to discuss ways to catalyse finance towards SMEs and exchanged views on the prospects for cooperation in concrete projects.