PAM Panel on External Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean Economic integration, SMEs, Human Resources and Youth among topics raised during 1st Operational Meeting in Naples, Italy.

PAM Panel on External Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean Economic integration, SMEs, Human Resources and Youth among topics raised during 1st Operational Meeting in Naples, Italy.

The First Operational Meeting of the PAM Panel on External Trade and Investments in the
Mediterranean has paved the way for closer collaboration between parliamentarians from PAM
member states and the major economic and financial actors of the region.
The two day meeting was held in Naples, Italy on 12-13 November, 2010 and was hosted by the
Unione degli Industriali di Napoli (Naples Association of Industrialists), under the patronage of
the Italian Parliament.
Welcoming speeches were delivered by Dr. Giovanni Lettieri, President of the Naples’
Industrialists Union (Italy), Sen. Francesco Maria Amoruso, President of the PAM 2nd Standing
Committee and PAM Vice President (Italy), Hon. Stefano Caldoro, President of the Campania
Region (Italy), Dr. Sergio Piazzi, Secretary General of PAM and Dr. Giancarlo Lanna, President
of Simest (Italy).
Participating speakers and delegates stressed the need to work on new policies with a holistic
approach in order to facilitate economic integration and trade. “The Mediterranean must not be
seen as a single entity because there are enormous differences between the North and the South
and between the Southern countries themselves. Distinct plans are needed.”, Cristina Coppola,
Vice-President of Confindustria (Italian Association of Industrialists) said.
Kristos Alexis, Ceo of Invest in Greece, proposed to promote the INVESTINMED2 programme
with the help of PAM and its Panel, in order to create sustainable, multilateral and long term
development. “We need to create multilateral investment frameworks and move away from
traditional bilateral exchange models”, Mr. Alexis added.
Within this wider perspective of the Mediterranean and the fact that in a couple of decades there
will be 40 million youths looking for work in the Mediterranean region, it was also proposed to
create a Mediterranean network for young people in the research sector. Dr. Sergio Piazzi,
Secretary General of PAM, reminded that the Assembly had just co-organised with UNESCO, in
Paris, the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of Science, Technology and Innovation for the
Mediterranean region (9-10 November), where visas for youths and projects aimed at preventing
the brain drain phenomenon, were discussed.
With reference to the internationalisation of small companies it was underlined that SMEs need
to be informed and therefore, one of the Panel’s responsibilities would be to disseminate
knowledge. This could be done through a coordinated effort, where investors can find the
information they require. This could be achieved with the development of a knowledge database.
“The setting up of a focal point at the parliamentary and industrialists level, could help to collect,
circulate and exchange such information”, Dr. Piazzi suggested.
The role of parliamentarians was highlighted by Ms. Teresa Ribeiro, Member of the Executive
Board of AICEP (Portugal), who said that, with their support, together with agencies of the
economic sector, public plans should be drawn in order to focus on all issues such as, norms,
instruments, codes and standards.
Governments, on the other hand, needed to remove formal and informal barriers to competition.
Reforms are needed and must be supported through the strengthening of those institutions that
regulate markets, and new forms of partnerships must be created within Governments with the
involvement of the private sector.
To this effect, Mrs. Virginia Cram-Martos, Director of the Trade and Timber Division of the
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), announced that her organisation
will co-organise with PAM a meeting in Geneva on trade facilitation, standardisation and
assistance to SMEs. Mr. Olivier Cattaneo, Senior Trade Specialist of the World Bank reminded
that there are also success stories in the South of the Mediterranean, which include tourism,
telecommunications, transport and energy. However, private investments are low compared to
other regions and export diversification is poor, adding that more markets needed to be
developed for SMEs.
The French delegate, Sen. Camille de Rocca Serra, proposed to take on board the French option
for the creation of the Mediterranean Investment Bank and open its governance to the South and
to the Mediterranean economy. “We will meet with German resistance, but it will be beneficial
to our region”, de Rocca Serra pointed out. The MIB would operate as a subsidiary of the
European Investment Bank (EIB) and would sustain investment and guarantee financing,
providing, at the same time, technical assistance.
Eng. Alessandro Ortis, from MEDREG, the Association of Mediterranean Regulators of Energy
and Gas, focused on the Panel’s future, saying that the PAM Panel will be a permanent body,
functioning as a high level think thank focusing on Mediterranean issues, promoting
harmonisation and creating tangible operative tools. It will also facilitate networking between
actors and stakeholders, public and private interests, independent experts and academics. In his
vision, Dr Ortis also sees the Panel as providing recommendations on how to promote and
support investments and trade in the region.
The President of the Campania Region, Hon. Stefano Caldoro, supported by Dr. Giovanni
Lettieri, President of the Naples’ Industrialists Union (Italy), offered to host the Annual General
Meeting of the PAM Panel as part of the Calendar of event of Naples, in order to sustain the
Panel’s momentum and also to provide Naples with an important window which will give the
city its deserved place on the regional and international scene.
In his closing comments newly elected PAM President, Hon. Mohammed Abu El Enein (Egypt),
expressed his thanks to the PAM Secretariat and the Naples Industrialists Union, for their efforts
in organising the meeting. He promised his full support to the initiatives and ideas put forward
during the discussions and underlined that in order to achieve prosperity and peace in the
Mediterranean, parliamentarians, together with all the other actors, have “to work together to
transform the region into a giant economic entity able to achieve the dream of economic
prosperity for all peoples of the Mediterranean region”.
At the end of the meeting responsibilities for the different sectors were agreed upon. Financial
Institutions will be coordinated by France and Studio Livolsi & Partners; Slovenia, Turkey and
Italy will collaborate in the Industrialists’ sector; Tourism will be under the leadership of Tunisia
while Trade Facilitation Measures will be coordinated by UNECE, the World Bank and Malta
Enterprise. Portugal will concentrate on Water, Serbia on Education and Training, MEDREG on
Energy and Other Services Regulators. Innovation and Technology will be coordinated by the
FIAT Group, while Egypt will work on Intergovernmental Cooperation Networks. The PAM
Panel will be co-chaired by Ms. Teresa Ribeiro, Member of the Executive Board of AICEP
(Portugal) and Hon. Ridha Bouargoub, PAM Rapporteur on External Trade (Tunisia).

ISSUED ON: 15.11.2010

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