25-08-2014

SMEs are the engine of the Mediterranean economy – Hon. Edgar Maalouf (Lebanon)

SMEs are the engine of the Mediterranean economy – Hon. Edgar Maalouf (Lebanon)

Hon. Edgar Maalouf, Head of the Lebanese Parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean addressed the Forum “Small & Medium enterprises: The road to Economic Development and Social Justice” organized by the Union of the Arab Banks (UAB), in Beirut, Lebanon on 21-23 August, 2014.

The forum was organized as part of the UAB’s strategy to encourage the interest in small and medium enterprises and to highlight its role in achieving economic and social development, especially in light of the exceptional circumstances witnessed by the Arab societies. The Forum discussed the importance of financial inclusion, the requirements needed for a healthy environment for these projects, and the necessity to activate the role of the Arab banking sector and regional and international organizations as key supporters for SMEs, in addition to strengthening the aspect of social responsibility of the institutions to achieve social justice, reducing unemployment and its Impact on economic growth.

In his intervention, Hon. Maalouf stressed the role of the parliamentarians of the PAM network in the much needed process of integration and cooperation in the economic sphere. A key challenge for the Mediterranean area is employment and “SMEs play a crucial role in this process since they are the engine of the Mediterranean economy and there will not be any growth without an ambitious plan to sustain SMEs, in terms of access to credit, fiscal policies and legislative framework”, Hon. Maalouf added.
It is also important that PAM continues to work on the realization of a wider Free Trade Area in the Mediterranean region, which goes beyond the EU limitations, the rationalization and reduction of national bureaucratic procedures to start new businesses, the fight to corruption and support to education.

In his concluding remarks, Hon. Maalouf took the opportunity to invite the UAB and the other stakeholders at the Forum to strengthen ties in order to become more effective in creating the conditions to boost employment in the region.

The forum, held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Alain Hakim, Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, focused on the following topics:

Toward a comprehensive Arab Vision for economic and social development in the Arab World.
SMEs as the strategic focal point for economic and social development in the Arab World.
The reality of small and medium enterprises in the Arab world.
The role of SMEs in Arab economic and social development.
Strategies and policies for supporting the development of small and medium enterprises.

The Role of Arab Funds in supporting Economic & Social Development .
Developmental programs for Arab organizations to provide financial support to small and medium enterprises.
International, regional and local best practices in the region.
A detailed view of the specialized experiences that have contributed to creating an enabling environment for economic and social development in the Arab world.

The impact of social responsibility of financial and banking institutions and its role in achieving social justice.
Corporate social responsibility and its role in sustainable development.
Social Responsibility of Financial and Banking institutions towards small and micro enterprises.
The impact of social responsibility in the achievement of social justice and reducing unemployment.

Microenterprises and its role in social development in the Arab World.
The role of microenterprises in the social and economic development.
Mechanisms and microfinance programs through banks and financial institutions.
The role of microenterprises in increasing opportunities for empowerment of women and youth to achieve social and economic security.

Islamic and Traditional Finance of Small, Medium and Microenterprises.
The contribution of the Arab banking sector in financing SMEs.
Develop banking mechanisms and funding programs for SMEs.
The impact of prediction models in fund facilitation.
The role of Islamic finance in supporting small and medium enterprises.
Risk guarantee and fund facilitation Institutions.

The Role of financial inclusion and information technology in supporting SMEs.
Towards financial inclusion in the Arab World.
The impact of financial inclusion in supporting SMEs and micro-finance.
The role of financial inclusion and information technology in fund facilitation.

Experiences and Expertise.
Creativity, innovation and support of Entrepreneurship efforts - the road to the future.


Ends//
 

 

MEDIA INFORMATION:  32/2014

ISSUED ON: 25.08.2014

Administration and Protocol Service
PAM Office – Geneva, Switzerland

PAM Regional Office - Palazzo PiCo,
Via Terracina, 230 – 80125 Naples, Italy

Tel: .+39 345 16 82 994.
Email: secretariat at pam dot int
Copyright 2022
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean