Economy, Europe

Mediterranean group plans projects for 1 million jobs

At the 9th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders conference, experts plan regional cooperation to improve economy

Övünç Kutlu,Bahattin Gönültaş   | 25.11.2015
Mediterranean group plans projects for 1 million jobs

Catalonia

BARCELONA, Spain

At the 9th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders conference in Barcelona on Wednesday, experts from around the region proposed projects that are to improve the economy.

"We have developed 33 regional projects which target one million people for employment and education opportunities, and we want to raise this two million in future, Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) told the conference.

"We will continue to work together towards prompting full socio economic cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean despite the difficulties encountered along the way. Together, we can achieve more," said Mohamed Choucair, the president of the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME). 

In his opening speech at the conference, Spain's Minister of Industry, Tourism and Energy Jose Manuel Soria said: "We need unity and cooperation from all countries, on the north and south of the Mediterranean to create wealth and generate opportunities."

Soria said that the governments must create an environment for private investments in the region to reduce unemployment.

Noting that unemployment is at 21 percent in Spain, Soria said the Spanish government has made reforms which have started to create business opportunities and increased investments to reduce the unemployment rate in the country. 

"The Euro-Mediterranean partnership was born in Barcelona in 1995, Lamia Zribi, Tunisia's State Secretary at the Ministry of Investment Development and International Cooperation," said. "However, there are still inequalities between the two shores of the Mediterranean."

"We need to have a new approach for stronger cooperation between the EU and the Mediterranean countries. We hope that this conference this would facilitate such cooperation," Miquel Valls, the president of the Official Chamber of Commerce in the Industry and Navigation of Barcelona said. 

The three-day leaders forum is organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), and other prominent regional and international organizations.

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