Organized on October 11, 2021 jointly by BUSINESSMED and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's South Mediterranean Regional Program, the Workshop on Post-COVID19 Economic Recovery in the South Mediterranean Region, brought together leading experts working in the region to provide an overview of crisis resilience from a sectoral perspective and implications for business, as well as the latest stimulus reforms and regional efforts since the start of the pandemic for better integration regional.
The interventions provided an overview of the current economic and geopolitical situation in the South Med region and an overview of the latest stimulus reforms as well as the efforts made by international and regional organizations since the onset of the pandemic.
“This expert workshop stems from a partnership that our two organizations are putting in place for the development of the Southern Neighborhood region and which was initiated in 2016 when KAS and BUSINESSMED piloted one of the first initiatives to stimulate leadership women in decision-making positions. In accordance with the renewed partnership with the southern neighborhood, and the joint communication of the EC, BUSINESSMED is committed to improving the business climate and attracting investment while tackling long-standing structural issues. such as unemployment, especially among young people.
To be successful, the participation of the private sector and the mobilization of small and medium-sized enterprises are essential. In the longer term, the economic recovery of the Southern Neighborhood region will depend on the resolution of regional conflicts, political capacity to reduce budget deficits and public debt, pursuit of structural reforms, insti institutional and social, and the search for a constructive response to the growing democratic aspirations of societies in the MENA region, “said Jihen Boutiba, Secretary General of BUSINESSMED, during his intervention during the opening session.
Partners and representatives of organizations from the North and the South also discussed the expectations and perspectives of regional integration and the renewed partnership between the EU and the neighborhood.
Thomas Volk, director of the regional program South Mediterranean political dialogue of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung welcomed the new collaboration with BUSINESMED and clarified:
“I think it is very interesting that the EU, in its new strategy towards the Mediterranean, emphasizes the importance of a people-centered approach and I think we should adopt this approach in a literal way. We have to consider what the people of the southern Mediterranean need, and the people need jobs, so this is the main priority in the region, and we have to do something to promote job creation.
There are also other challenges that need to be addressed such as improving the regional trade rate which is one of the lowest in the MENA region and actions need to be taken. We need to look to bigger markets and see how to create investments in the southern Mediterranean, how to support MSMEs, how to create joint ventures and allow the Mediterranean region to flourish with the help of partners in the Mediterranean. southern and northern Mediterranean “.
The meeting ended with a summary of the main conclusions of the discussions and the relevant proposals made by the various speakers and experts. The recommendations will be developed as part of a guidance document for effective economic recovery in the MENA region, with particular emphasis on current and possible reforms and relevant regional collaborative frameworks.
The document will be published later on the websites of both organizations.