Barcelona – Deputy Secretary General for Business Development and Funding Coordination, Mr. Lino Cardarelli, presented the UfMS roadmap for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in a meeting held at the Palau de Pedralbes on 6 June 2011.
In line with the UfMS work program for 2011, the primary task of the Business Development and Funding Coordination Division (BDFC) is the implementation of the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative aimed at assisting existing entities in the Mediterranean partner countries operating in support of MSMEs.
The UfMS presented an action plan for project promotion and coordination, launching studies, and creating an international network which can interface with economic institutions and attract business community.
The roadmap of the UfMS for the SMEs consists of three main steps: building a network of stakeholders and partners, tacking stock of the already existing initiatives in order to identify areas for additionality, and identifying core priority areas for the UfMS. These are the basic steps to fulfill the goals fixed for the SMEs according to Mr. Cardarelli.
The meeting brought together 18 participants from 11 institutions and entities, including European Commission, financial institutions (DG Enterprise, EIB and AfD), think tanks and consultants (CEPS, IEMed and Sabaudia), in addition to institutions which provide support to SMEs (Promos, ANIMA, and European Training Foundation) and representatives of business networks (ASCAME). After the welcome speech by Mr. Cardarelli, the UfMS presented its project guidelines and its proposed action plan for the SMEs. This initial presentation was followed by a session on cooperation and synergies and by a discussion on counter-guarantee mechanisms which concluded the workshop.
Commenting on the meeting, Mr. Cardarelli said: “The SME core-group was created to enable contact between UfMS and institutions supporting SMEs with a view to promote sharing of information and enhanced coordination.” He also added: “the group will be meeting several times a year and we hope it can deliver soon tangible results.”