Trade and growth PAM Conference opens in Geneva

Trade and growth PAM Conference opens in Geneva

The High level Conference Harnessing Trade for Growth in the Mediterranean organized by UNECE in cooperation with UNCTAD and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) Panel on Trade and Investment in the Mediterranean (Geneva, 30-31 May), was officially opened today by PAM President, Sen. Francesco Amoruso (Italy), Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Ms. Manuela Tortora, Coordinator, United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity.  

The Conference is addressing the definition of specific policies and operational instruments to stimulate growth, and to adopt tailored recommendations in support of trade facilitation, SMEs, infrastructure, investments, access to credit, and most importantly job creation in the Mediterranean.

“It is precisely the character of the international crisis that requires us to implement agreed measures”, Sen. Amoruso said.  The PAM President recalled that in many countries the debate between the advocates of the austerity line and those of solidarity is open and intense, and  this highlights the necessity to reconsider many relationships, such as the one between the European Union and individual member states. “If on one hand it is true that individual countries should monitor public spending, it is also undeniable that the duty of any government, any parliament, any country, is to give their citizens a dignified standard of living”, Sen. Amoruso added.

Already in Rabat the PAM Panel has raised some priority issues, such as supporting SMEs to facilitate their access to credit and to stimulate the creation of jobs; simplification of bureaucratic procedures for new start-ups; the importance of trade agreements and in particular the area of free trade; the necessity of a strong and concrete political commitment.

“That’s why the political stability is not only a requirement for obtaining economic prosperity, but it is also its consequence. Our Assembly, which is a Permanent Observer to the General Assembly of the United Nations, would like to use this partnership in the best way, for the good of all the peoples of the Mediterranean, and I hope that, with the commitment of the Director Alkalaj, the PAM meeting in Geneva will become a regular appointment in the international agenda, to be held every two years”, the PAM President concluded.

During these two days the floor will be taken by representatives of governments, MPs, entrepreneurs, investment promotion agencies and academics from the Mediterranean basin and from the UN member states, together with experts of the major international and regional financial institutions. The Agenda includes the following main topics: The Economic Crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean Region in a Global Perspective; Revitalizing Trade; Developing Transport; Infrastructure; Increasing Investment; Strengthening Energy Systems; Improving Productive Capacity and Risk Management in Trade.

PAM has spearheaded, through the Panel, the collaboration between parliaments and the private sector in order to ensure convergence of the positions of both sides. The outcome of this dialogue is meant to address the implementation of strategic actions which focus on the real needs to assist the recovery of economies and a return to a stable job market, particularly for youths. Suffice it to say that, in the next ten years, the MENA region alone will need to create 75 million jobs in line with forecasted demographic trends.

“The challenges ahead of us are of an extraordinary level, but we are confident that positive results are attainable if we manage to priorities the social dimension of the crisis and secure a balance on the scale between the financial sector and the sustainable development of our citizens”, Sergio Piazzi, PAM Secretary General commented.

The joint PAM/UN Conference in Geneva is only one among a number of events that PAM organizes on a regular basis with the UN System.


Full speech of PAM President, Sen. Francesco Amoruso: link

ISSUED ON: 30.05.2013

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