Barcelona, 2 October 2014. The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean has officially launched the UfM-labelled project Euro-Mediterranean Development Center for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (EMDC) during the SME Internationalisation Forum. The event was organised by the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) in the framework of the EU 2014 SME Assembly, on 1-2 October in Naples.
The main purpose of the forum was to identify challenges, opportunities and solutions for strengthening business relations between SMEs from the EU and neighbouring Mediterranean countries, with a focus on improving access to markets and removing technical and administrative obstacles.
In this context, the UfM-labelled project EMDC is the perfect tool to achieve these objectives. The overall goal of the project is to build an efficient networking infrastructure among Euro-Mediterranean entrepreneurs, institutions and investors in order to support MSMEs along the critical stages of start-up, growth and internationalisation.
Addressing the audience, UfM Deputy Secretary Claudio Cortese stated: “SMEs constitute over 85% of all registered companies in the Euro-Mediterranean region and contribute to over two-thirds of the total formal employment. They also participate on average at 35% of national GDP and generate two times as many jobs per euro invested as larger companies. The UfM strongly support SMEs development as an essential element for economic growth and stability in the region.”
The EMDC Foundation has a network of 26 chambers of commerce and agencies. The programme is already implemented in Morocco and Tunisia, while action plans for Egypt and Jordan are being finalised. The Foundation has also been actively creating its information retrieval system, a multi-level business information service oriented to internationalisation.