The 13th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (MedaWeek) kicked off on Wednesday, bringing together businesses, government officials, experts and multilateral organizations in Barcelona, Spain.
The three-day annual event will focus on the importance of the Africa's role in Mediterranean, alternatives to the Western banking system and the sustainable development needs of the Mediterranean area.
It kicked off under the motto, "New dawn for the Mediterranean", with participants to discuss cooperation in the energy and automotive sectors.
"The Mediterranean has become a border in the world and there are new powerful actors in the region such as Russia and China," Anwar Zibaoui, the coordinator of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), said in his opening speech.
He stressed that Mediterranean countries and the EU should work together against economic crises.
"We need to find new and lasting solutions to problems like security, global warming," he noted, adding that the EU members needed to understand one another.
Zibaoui said the integration of the Mediterranean was very important for the advancement of developing countries in the region.
"It is very important for private sector companies from different countries to come together and realize new development moves together for the solution of young unemployment and economic problems," he added.
For his part, Mohamed Methqal, ambassador and general director of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), said Europe should do its best to help "neglected" Africa.
"Many problems in Africa must become Europe's priority. Morocco is working to develop cooperation amongst businesses. For example, our work on aviation continues rapidly," he said.
Methqal stressed that the transportation sector in the Mediterranean was vital for the entire region saying: "The arrival of new investments and the realization of important mass infrastructure projects will contribute to the development of the regional economy."
"The result of these steps will benefit not only Africa, but also Europe, the Mediterranean countries and even America," he added.
The event, of which Anadolu Agency is global communication partner, is organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation.
Past editions of the forum featured more than 35 major themes, 600 working sessions, 1,800 prominent speakers and welcomed over 20,000 visitors from all over the world.
Reporting by Mehmet Fatih Erdogdu in Barcelona
Writing by Aysu Bicer