Due to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency, the UfM Conference on the challenges to access to Finance for MSMEs in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (Barcelona, 20 March 2020), will not take place as initially scheduled and is postponed to a later date still to be confirmed, in the framework of the measures taken by other organizations worldwide who employ international staff, organize events and interact with travelers from across all continents.
20 March 2020, Barcelona. Micro, Small and Medium size enterprises (MSMEs) are meant to be the backbone of any economy, to create job opportunities and, increasingly, to spur innovation. Unfortunately, they are often prevented to reach their full potential. Among the many factors that may be holding them back, the issue of insufficient access to finance features prominently. This is due to the very nature of MSMEs, which are typically both riskier and costlier to serve. However, there are also many examples of positive experiences and of diverse innovative solutions that work.
As the main regional organization that brings together the 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), while not a financial institution is using its convening power to proactively raise awareness about the importance of the issue of access to finance for MSMEs in the region and to offer a platform to discuss innovative solutions that can work.
Therefore, the UfM in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as with the European Investment Bank (EIB), to organize a high-level Conference with the objective of highlighting a broad range of successful approaches promoted by a diverse group of both industry innovators and policy innovators active in the region.
Bringing together market practitioners, international financial institutions and policy makers will hopefully stimulate mutual learning and cross-fertilization.