There is great potential for increased regional economic integration. A recent study conducted by the UfM Secretariat indicates the following trade flow distribution in the region: 90% within the EU; 9% between the EU and its Southern neighbours; and only 1% among the Southern Mediterranean neighbours. Association agreements and other free trade instruments have provided a positive framework for the development of economic relations in the Mediterranean. However, EU GDP per capita is still on average 6 times higher than in the Southern Mediterranean countries. In 2014, the EU Trade balance with its UfM Southern partners had a surplus of 49 billion Euros, representing the second most important trade surplus and compensating more than a third of the EU trade deficit with China.
EDILE – Economic Development through Inclusive and Local Empowerment is part of a regional approach and proposes an official label recognising investments that have a positive local impact, with the aim of helping to generate additional benefits, such as employment, subcontracting and environmental friendliness.
EMIPO – EUROMED Invest Promotion and Observatory is an important Euro-Mediterranean project aimed at fostering private investments and business partnerships in the Euro-Mediterranean area by fostering SMEs interest in this regional market.
Emmanuel Noutary, ANIMA General Delegate, emphasised how this partnership combining public and private actors “is part of a long-term plan to address the deficits in wealth-sharing, investment and integration”. Claudio Cortese, Senior Deputy Secretary General of UfM, added that “the development of the private sector, the support for the creation of jobs, the equitable division of economic benefits as well as the strengthening of cooperation and regional integration are the key factors for socio-economic development and stability in the region”.
The conference mobilised over 55 economic development and social economy actors from both shores of the Mediterranean, representing organisations such as national investment agencies, ministries, development agencies, business federations, chambers of commerce, international development institutions and enterprises.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The EDILE project, initially implemented by seven Euro-Mediterranean partners and piloted by the ANIMA Investment Network offers evaluation tools and a label on the local impacts of investment projects in order to support both investors and the organisations responsible for supporting and regulating investments. EDILE aims to help generate maximum positive local benefits, particularly in the areas of employment, subcontracting and environmental friendliness.
The EDILE project is being implemented within the framework of the ENPI CBC MED Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme (www.enpicbcmed.eu) and has funding of €1.7 million from the European Union under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. The ENPI CBC MED Programme aims to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and its regional partner countries along the shores of the Mediterranean.
EMIPO will optimise investments and support the development of the private sector in the EUROMED region. Its objective is to increase investments and business partnerships while at the same time monitoring and promoting economic integration in the Mediterranean region. To do so, it will encourage partnerships, as well as foreign investment, training and technical assistance for entrepreneurs, project incubation and the optimisation and evaluation of the impact of investment and international partnerships by the observatory. Promoted by the ANIMA Investment Network, the project will be implemented until 2017 in 28 countries of the European Union and 10 countries of the Mediterranean Neighbourhood. The beneficiaries are investment promotion agencies, SME development agencies, chambers of commerce and industry and other organisations representing the private sector, professional associations, public and private investors as well as the Mediterranean diaspora networks in Europe. The current project EUROMED Invest (www.euromedinvest.eu) is supported by the European Commission up to 80 % of the total project budget, €5 million.
About the UfM
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together 43 countries: 28 EU member states and 15 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. It provides a platform for political dialogue, coordination, and regional cooperation.
The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, established in Barcelona in 2010, focuses on enhancing regional cooperation and integration through the implementation of regional cooperation projects and initiatives. The Secretariat has developed and accelerated the implementation of new regional projects that are key socio-economic and strategic drivers: more than 40 regional labelled projects worth over €5 billion in areas including inclusive growth, youth employability, women’s empowerment, promotion of student mobility, integrated urban development and sustainable development. The Secretariat works in close collaboration with government agencies and an active network of Euro-Mediterranean partners to assist project promoters throughout the entire project cycle, from technical assistance to project implementation, as well as financial planning and fundraising.
About ANIMA Investment Network:
The ANIMA Investment Network is a multi-country platform for economic cooperation in the Mediterranean. The ANIMA network brings together 62 government agencies and business, financing and innovation networks from the Mediterranean region. ANIMA’s objective is to contribute to continued improvements in the business climate and to the growth of capital flows into the Mediterranean region.
ANIMA contributes through its own actions, and also through networking with national and international public and private actors, to the development of investments, business partnerships, innovation and entrepreneurship and to the globalisation of businesses. Its aim is to help create added value and employment, while taking into account social and environmental issues and fostering a North-South balance and the economic integration of the countries in the region.
iesMed is a cooperative platform aimed at boosting the Mediterranean Social Economy, based in Barcelona. iesMed and its partners work in the Mediterranean, playing a uniting role between social economy actors already in the region. Together, they offer innovative and alternative solutions, both locally and globally, by taking advantage of the corporate structure of iesMed (European Cooperative).