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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

PROPOSITIONS ABOUT UNITED MEDITERRANEAN GIVES RIGHT TO OUR PLANS

Multi-country platform for economic development of the Mediterranean

Gathered at the end of November 2006 in Marseille for the 2nd Euromed Business Summit associating companies, banks and investment promotion agencies, the Euromed countries reiterated their will to become more attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI). The efforts made since 2002 by these countries and by their co-operation network (ANIMA) have been fruitful: the FDI flow into 10 Mediterranean partner countries (known as "MEDA", i.e. Maghreb, Machrek, Israel and Turkey) increased from 10 billion dollars in 2003 (less than 1% of worldwide FDI) to more than 30 billion in 2005 (or 3.5% of worldwide FDI).
These achievements are encouraging the MEDA countries, which are conscious of the potential and the need for further progress. Facing Europe, with a young population and labour force, they might constitute a future dragon able to attract for instance Gulf petrodollars. In order to establish the Mediterranean site as a competitive territory, to coordinate their external promotion, to mutualise their sales efforts and to continue some network economic intelligence and training, the economic development agencies of the MEDA region have created the ANIMA Investment Network Association in Marseille.

Mrs. Laila Sbiti, Deputy Director of Invest in Morocco, will hold the Presidency, the vice-presidency being entrusted to 3 Southern countries (Algeria, Palestinian Authority, Tunisia) and to two Northern communities (City of Marseille and Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur). With a treasurer and a general delegate (Mr. Bénédict de Saint-Laurent), the Invest in France Agency (AFII) will stay involved in this structure, which will rely on the ANIMA agency based in Marseille.

The other countries, regions or organisations members of the Board of directors of Association "ANIMA Network" are:
- On the European side, Malta, Cyprus, Catalonia and 3 French development (Euroméditerranée, Provence-Promotion, Team Côte d’Azur);
- On the Southern side, Egypt and the Mediterranean Confederation of Enterprise Unions (UMCE).

In addition, Jordan, the Mission of Regional Economic Development (PACA, France) and the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA, the United Nations) also agreed to join the association. Lastly, other agencies or organisations are currently "observers": the new Turkish development agency (Invest in Turkey), Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), Investment Bureau (Syria), Invest in Bulgaria, ITDH (Hungary), CCI of Milan.
During the following days, these partners took part in the Euromediterranean Business Summit organised by The Economist and ANIMA, and expressed their optimism on the continuation of FDI growth, due to on-going reforms, public-private partnerships and privatisation programmes in MEDA countries -with an estimated amount of 300 billion dollars for the next ten years.

They also began the preparation of a joint project for accelerating the growth of investment and to support co-development enterprises in the Mediterranean basin. The private sector will be widely associated to this initiative, with the launching in 2007 of an "ANIMA Club" open to companies.

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