PAM 12th Plenary Session – Bucharest 15-16 February 2018 - 2nd Standing Committee

PAM 12th Plenary Session – Bucharest 15-16 February 2018 - 2nd Standing Committee

2st Standing Committee adopts Reports and Resolutions on Climate Change and Trade & Investments.

PAM Vice-President, Sen. Lhou Lmarbouh (Morocco), chaired the presentation of the works of the 2nd Standing Committee on Economic, Social and Environmental Cooperation, and Activities for 2018, at the 12th Plenary Session being held in Bucharest on 15 -16 February.
The Session was also addressed by Mr. Victor Cazana, Head of the Department for Privatization and Administration of the State Participation of the Ministry of Economy of Romania, and through a video message, Ms. Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - UNCTAD.
In his introduction to the debate, Sen. Lhou Lmarbouh briefly went through the activities of the 2nd Standing Committee in the last 12 months. In accordance with what was discussed in Portugal on the occasion of the PAM 11th Plenary Session, the 2nd Standing Committee focused in 2017 on two main topics; one related to the economy and the other to the environment.
In the area of the economy, the Standing Committee, with the collaboration of the World Trade Organization, has addressed critical issues related to trade and investment facilitation. As is evident from the Rabat conference, these topics are two key elements for the Mediterranean region and both require: better integration with trade, especially the so-called South-South trade; more harmonized, more transparent and simpler rules for customs fees and procedures; system improvements to enable SMEs to access investments where funds are available and easy to allocate for large projects, especially those dedicated to infrastructure. On the other hand, the procedures allowing SMEs to access investments are more complicated and must therefore be relaxed, because SMEs are at the heart of the economy of all our countries, from Portugal to Mauritania; and significant improvement of data protection, in particular with regard to electronic commerce. 
With regards to the future activities relating to the 2nd Standing Committee, PAM will continue to address the issue of trade and investment. “We have already established fruitful contacts with the WTO and UNCTAD to work together to organize an event similar to that of Rabat, but with a particular focus on the Western Balkans”, Sen. Lhou Lmarbouh added. The meeting will also focus on the importance of SMEs.
With regard to the environmental issues to be addressed by the Standing Committee in 2018, the idea is to organize the Parliamentary MEDCOP in Ouarzazate, to discuss the Bonn outcomes and how PAM parliamentarians could contribute in their capacity, to global efforts aimed at addressing climate change. The Ourzazate meeting will also include a session on energy, which is one of the major sectors contributing to global emissions, as well as a visit to the Ouarzazate solar power station: an example that shows that clean energy is achievable.
With regard to relations with other organizations and institutions, in Malta it was agreed to strengthen our relations with the international financial institutions. Since the meeting of the Valletta Bureau, we have maintained contact with the WTO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Both confirmed their support for the investment meeting. All this goes in the direction of extending the network of partners in this area, which is fundamental for the development of the region.
Another important aspect is the relationship with national bodies, such as chambers of commerce, investment promotion agencies and national professional associations. “ If we want to engage these actors in a constructive dialogue leading to sustainable cooperation, national parliaments, national delegations and individual deputies must make the first contact with them, and also act as 'focal points' for joint activities and initiatives”, Sen. Lmarbough said. In this way, the impact of PAM activities on national stakeholders could improve further. In addition to that, of course, there will be the usual contribution of PAM to international events organized by the Assembly’s partners. This is an activity not to be underestimated as it offers great opportunities for networking and visibility at the national and international levels. 
The 2st Standing Committee Session then proceeded with the discussion and vote on two Reports and Resolutions, namely “The support of parliamentarians in dealing with Climate Change issues”, prepared by Hon. Charalambos Theopembtou (Cyprus); and “Facilitating Trade and Supporting Investments”, prepared by Hon. Dragica Roščić  (Croatia), and presented by Hon. Tijana Davidovac (Serbia).  Following an open and constructive debate among the delegates, the two Reports and Resolutions were adopted.// 
issued on: 16.02.2018
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