14-03-2012

PAM reiterates support to SMEs development at the 10th FEMIP Conference in Tunisia

PAM reiterates support to SMEs development at the 10th FEMIP Conference in Tunisia
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) participated and addressed the 10th FEMIP Conference (Tunis, 8 March 2012) entitled Mediterranean SMEs: Ready to break new  ground, organized by the European Investment Bank (EIB)  in cooperation with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of the Republic of Tunisia and the Chamber of Commerce of Milan (Italy).
PAM represented the parliamentary dimension in the process of economic integration and growth, and job creation in the region, being itself a platform gathering major stakeholders, such as banking institutions, representatives of the public and private sectors and academics, and civil society.
With regard to SMEs, the PAM highlighted its current activities, such as the ongoing cooperation with the major European Financial institutions to facilitate a number of investments, amounting to 2.5 billion Euros, to finance projects in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, the four pilot countries of the Southern Mediterranean shore. PAM is fully aware that progress cannot be limited to the North-South trade, and that the real change will be possible only through an effective policy to develop the South-South trade. The development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Mediterranean region is one of PAM’s priorities under its Second Standing Committee, and to this end the Assembly established in 2009 a dedicated Panel on External Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean region. In its next scheduled meeting, which will take place in June 2012, the debates will focus on investments and support to the SMEs. In Tunis, PAM also invited the FEMIP Conference participants to give their contribution to the June event, and being associated to the forthcoming activities of the PAM Panel.
 
The strong commitment of PAM in support of SMEs, was also underlined on the occasion of PAM’s participation at the Group of 5+5 Ministerial meeting, which took place in Rome on 20 February, in order to synchronise the Assembly’s initiatives with those of Governments.
During the FEMIP Conference, discussions and interventions focused on the need of more investment in the Southern countries, non-financial services and training. There was also agreement on the fact that one of the major opportunities to overcome the unemployment issue, is job creation through the setting up of SMEs. 

The PAM Panel acts as a comprehensive coherent group with the purpose of addressing common challenges, identifying obstacles and proposing concrete actions in support of trade and the establishment of a Free Trade Area in the region, in promoting Small and Medium Enterprises, in facilitating investments and finance and stimulating job creation. These priority areas are tackled through a number of Sectoral Groups dedicated to North-South and South-South trade facilitation, Food Security through support to regional agro-industry, Vocational Training and Research, Transport and Infrastructure, Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Finance and Investments, Water and Energy.

MEDIA INFORMATION: 12/2012

Issued on: 15.03.2012

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