On the margins of the event, Mohamed Chocair, President of the Beirut’s Chamber of Commerce, took over from Murat Yalçintas, President of the Istanbul’s Chamber of Commerce, who served as ASCAME president during the last four years. Addressing at the opening of the political conference, Dr Lino Cardarelli, Senior Deputy Secretary General of the UfM praised the commitment and the energy shown by the outgoing president and welcomed the new president. The Secretariat of the UfM and ASCAME decided last November 2011 to enhance its cooperation by signing a MoU, which envisages a number of joint actions to be undertaken in the fields of support to private entrepreneurship and MSMEs, transport, urban development or energy in the Mediterranean, among others.
Mr Cardarelli went through the action plan of the UfM Secretariat for the year 2012, emphasising those initiatives and projects concerning the business development division. Likewise, the representative of the Secretariat called on joining forces with the Chambers of Commerce to enable the environment in the region as to return to the path of economic growth, revive FDI and create more MSMEs, as a key pre-condition to create more and better jobs in the Mediterranean.
The General Assembly also confirmed that the General Secretariat of ASCAME will remain in the premises of Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, thus allowing further synergies with the Secretariat of the UfM, such as the joint organisation of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders, which will take place this year in October.