Marrakech, 18 February 2014. The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean participated as institutional partner in the Third Maghreb Entrepreneurs Forum, held in Marrakech on 17-18 February 2014. On this occasion, the Maghreb Initiative on Trade and Investment (IMCI) was officially launched with the aim of boosting intra-Maghreb trade by providing a roadmap and action plan for the short, medium and long term. The official announcement of this initiative was made during the First Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean (5+5 Dialogue), held at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean in October 2013, with the aim of boosting economic integration among the 5+5 Dialogue countries, namely Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia.
The Third Maghreb Entrepreneurs Forum was organised by the General Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Morocco (CGEM) on behalf of the Maghreb Employers Union (UME). The objective of the Forum was to strengthen economic integration in the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) and promote intra-Maghreb exchanges. The Forum sessions paid particular attention to the important role of entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in accomplishing this objective in the region.
Within the framework of the Forum, the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi, held bilateral meetings with the President of the Tunisian Union for Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts (UTICA), Ouided Bouchamaoui; the President of the Algerian Confederation of Employers, Boualem Mrakach; and representatives of the World Bank. He also exchanged views with a delegation of young Maghreb entrepreneurs based in Europe.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are vectors for innovation and economic growth in the Mediterranean region, contributing approximately 35% to national gross domestic product (GDP) in the Southern Mediterranean countries and generating 80% of jobs. In this context, the UfM Secretariat works actively to promote projects that support job creation and the development of MSMEs in the region.
Learn more about UfM projects and initiatives in the field:
- Euro – Mediterranean Development Center for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (EMDC)
- The Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs)