The 12th Ministerial Meeting of UfM Trade Ministers is due to be convened in the second half of 2023.
20 July 2022. The Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean convened today by videoconference for the third meeting of the UfM Regional Platform on Trade and Investment. They followed up on the planned work encompassing the three main pillars of Sustainable Trade, Sustainable Investment and Regional Integration, along the lines of the Joint Declaration by UfM Trade Ministers of November 2020.
The meeting of the platform was chaired by the UfM Co-Presidency, the European Commission (DG TRADE) and Jordan (Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply), and the discussions under the three pillars covered the following:
- Sustainable Trade: participants discussed the impact of the war in Ukraine on trade in the UfM Region, notably its effects on food and energy security, and reviewed actions taken and planned to address these challenges. Participants called to step up engagement on the issue of food security in view of the critical situation faced by several countries of the region. They also reviewed tools to enhance the resilience of value chains, based on a presentation by the OECD of some recently developed policy tools for supply chains’ preparedness and responsiveness.
- Sustainable Investment: participants discussed strategies and tools to promote additional and more sustainable investments in the UfM region, notably the recent experience in applying the OECD FDI Qualities toolkit in policy dialogue with countries of the region, as part of the EU supported project on investment in the Mediterranean. Several participants shared progress in reforming their investment and business climate, and their experience in dialogue with the EU on the roll out of the Investment Plan for the Southern neighbourhood.
- Regional Integration: participants welcomed the soft launch of the upgraded Euromed Trade Helpdesk, implemented by the International Trade Centre with support from the EU, in partnership with the national focal points. The new Euromed Trade Helpdesk integrates a number of new features and new data, and –as its predecessor- is available for free to economic operators and decision makers from the region. Participants also welcomed work under the Team Europe Initiative on jobs through trade and investment in the Southern Neighbourhood, bringing together the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the EIB and the EBRD, and the Hub for jobs, trade and investment, both of which were launched in May 2022 in Marrakesh on the occasion the UfM Ministerial on jobs and employment.
An agenda item was dedicated to launch the preparations for the 12th Ministerial Meeting of the UfM Trade Ministers which is foreseen to be convened in the second half of 2023. An initial brainstorming of priority topics that should feature in the Ministerial Declaration revealed a strong interest by participants for the issues of trade and food security, as well as the sustainability of trade and investment.
The meeting also included an update on the activities of the UfM Secretariat, implemented with the financial support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ). This notably included the organisation of the fourth edition of the UfM Trade and Investment Forum to be hosted by Türkiye in Istanbul on 4 November 2022.
The UfM Member States agreed to hold the next meeting of the UfM Regional Platform on Trade and Investment during the second half of 2022.