Key economic challenges facing the economic ecosystem in the Mediterranean addressed during PAM regional meeting in Milan

Key economic challenges facing the economic ecosystem in the Mediterranean addressed during PAM regional meeting in Milan
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) convened a dedicated meeting entitled “Alternative Capital Markets for economic growth in the Mediterranean - The critical role of Parliamentarians”, on 4 and 5 July in Milan, Italy, kindly hosted by Hon. Centemero, co-Chair of the PAM Panel on Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean, and by Borsa italiana, the Italian Stock exchange. 
The conference gathered MPs from over 25 countries, including two speakers of Parliaments, representatives of some 40 enterprises, Chambers of Commerce, the UN system, International Financial Institutions and Academic institutions.  
Participants were welcomed by Hon. Giulio Centemero, Sen Alia Bouran, PAM President, and Mr. Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO of Borsa italiana and Executive Director of the London Stock Exchange Group. 
H.E. Dr Amal Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council, United Arab Emirates, H.E. Borjana Krišto, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and H.E. Asaf Hajiyev, Secretary General, PABSEC delivered keynote addresses as guests of honour. 
A session dedicated to the PAM Panel, its achievements and purposes, was chaired by Hon Karim Darwish, PAM Vice-President and President of the PAM 2nd Standing Committee, and by the co-chairs of the Panel, namely Hon. Giulio Centemero and Sen. Lhou Lmarbouh.
The other sessions of the meeting were dedicated to Alternative Capital Markets and FinTech, Economic growth through minibonds IPOs and crowdfunding, Start up and Venture Capital, Experiences of growth. Representatives of the World Bank, WTO, EBRD, UNECA and UNCTAD, as well as Borsa italiana and others from the private sector, gave detailed presentations on these issues and engaged in a fruitful debate with the participants in the meeting.
Three main projects were proposed to address key economic challenges hampering a stable economic ecosystem in the Mediterranean region. 
The first project is related to the development and launching of a Start-up Market, a digital platform that enables entrepreneurs to meet with investors. The second project is related to the creation of a Social Impact Investing Fund, an investment vehicle that pursues social scopes alongside with financial ones. The third project concerns the activation of a macro regional fund of funds that can operate in the Mediterranean through affiliated entities.
A special task force within the framework of the PAM Economic Panel will work on legislative and operative aspects to implement these projects and will draft a dedicated report and recommendations to be discussed and, tentatively, adopted during the 14th PAM Plenary Session, which will be held in Athens, Greece, in February 2020. 
Following the first day, PAM MPs, together with the precious contribution of high-level experts, debated on how better to align the PAM Panel priorities to the most pressing challenges of the Mediterranean region. The session was chaired by Hon Giulio Centemero and Dr Alessandro Ortis, co-Chairs of the PAM Economic Panel.
Several topics were at the bulk of the meeting as key to build thriving and resilient economies, such as disruptive technologies, SMEs, Start-ups and young entrepreneurs.  
Some key points were highlighted at the closing session of the meeting, namely: 
-the importance to include in the sectoral groups of the PAM Economic Panel the new topics addressed during the meeting.
-Holding workshops, seminars and additional technical meetings in order to concretely follow up on the issues addressed in Milan;
-Convening a side meeting of the PAM 2nd Standing Committee at the 14th PAM Plenary Session to be held in Athens, in February 2020, to focus on the composition of the working groups which will deal with specific topics and related initiatives to be implemented.
During the conference PAM MPs and private sector’s representatives held strategic bilateral meetings to share best practices, exchange experiences and find efficient solutions to facilitate access to alternative funding to support the Mediterranean SMEs and Start-ups. 
Mr Said El Hachimi, Counsellor of WTO, expressed his readiness to host a parliamentary meeting on trade facilitation at the WTO Headquarters, in Geneva, involving the UN economic cluster and other key actors. From his side, Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, PABSEC Secretary General, proposed to co-organize a joint follow-up meeting with PAM next year. 
Furthermore, five PAM member countries have already contacted the PAM Secretariat to propose to host dedicated meetings on the sectoral groups of the PAM Economic Panel.//
issued on 15.07.2019
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