Barcelona, 23 February 2015. The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Agency for International Cooperation and Local Development in the Mediterranean (ACIM) signed a cooperation agreement on the occasion of a bilateral meeting held recently between the two institutions.
The agreement signed by UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi and ACIM President Christian Apothéloz falls within the context of the UfM strategy for private sector development. This strategy aims to involve the private sector in UfM initiatives and projects, with the overall goal of promoting inclusive growth and regional integration in the Mediterranean.
The agreement acknowledges the key role of the private sector in promoting job creation and investment flows in the region, while recognising the substantial impact that members of diasporas have on the socio-economic development, both in their countries of origin and throughout the region. Secretary General Sijilmassi recalled that “in these difficult times, all stakeholders should double their efforts to increase the level of regional integration”. Moreover, he highlighted how “support to entrepreneurship and job creation is key for the socio-economic development of the region, and ultimately for its stability”.
For his part, President Apothéloz stressed that “this agreement represents international acknowledgement to our work”. This partnership could pave the way for ACIM’s future projects to be labelled by the UfM.
The UfM Secretariat aims to involve the private sector, international organisations, financial institutions and other cooperation frameworks in the implementation of UfM initiatives and projects towards private sector development. Private sector development is essential to foster investment and trade flows, as well as to enhance the transfer of technology and knowledge in the region.