#Med2021 - Agenda

MED Fora


Forum Infrastructure: new challenges and opportunities for a long-term growth in the MENA Region

08:30 am CET


MED’s aim is to be an intermediary for intraregional dialogue, ensuring a high interaction and exchange of views among its participants. In this context, this by-invitation-only Forum, organized by ISPI, with the knowledge partnership of McKinsey & Company, aimed to bring together a restricted group of top business and institutional representatives, from all over the Mediterranean region, in order to analyze and discuss specific themes and challenges related to infrastructure. It has been conceived as an open debate among all the participants, under the Chatham House Rule. The working language is English.

08:30–10:00am CET | Session 1
The recovery from the pandemic will undoubtedly involve the MENA region, even ifits growth will be uneven. According to the IMF, North Africa will grow by 8.1% in 2021, far higher than the 2.7% growth forecasted for the Middle East. However, to be sustainable, this growth must be underpinned by structural reforms and quality infrastructure investments aimed at improving overall competitiveness and ensuring a smooth green transition for the larger Mediterranean basin. To reach these goals, public and private resources could be blended to increase the pool of financial resources available for the green transition and to bridge the existing infrastructure gap. Connectivity will be one of the crucial issues to be addressed, also to allow MENA countries to participate in a more efficient way in the global value chains. Finally, to trigger long-term growth, investments will have to be coordinated with resources made available by G20 countries and by the EU through “Next Generation EU”. In this sense, cooperation in the region will be crucial to address the major infrastructure gaps, ensure a coordinated energy transition and a steady recovery from pandemic.

This session will answer the following questions: What are the main regulatory and financing reforms needed in the region to ensure a long-term rebound and foster private infrastructure investments?What are the main investment priorities to ensure a sustainable and green transition? How could the infrastructure cooperation between the two shores be enhanced? What are the main priorities to ensure better connectivity across the region?
Introductory speech
Manlio Di Stefano, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Italy
Keynote speech
Enrico Giovannini, Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Italy
Gelsomina Vigliotti, Vice-President, EIB
Francesco Profumo, Chairman, Fondazione Compagnia di Sanpaolo; Chair, T20 Task Force on Infrastructure investment and financing
Comments from participants
Opening and Chair
Giampiero Massolo, President, ISPI and Fincantieri
10:00–11:00 am CET | Session 2
To build a connected Mediterranean, the main infrastructure shortcomings in the MENA region should be addressed, enabling the region to become a competitive partner for the European Union and a key global trade player. Digitalization and technology are important tools to improve competitiveness and infrastructure efficiency. When applied to roads, railways, air, and maritime transport, digitalization and artificial intelligence could dramatically reduce time and costs of logistics. This is crucial to create a permanent structured investment cooperation in the Mediterranean, ultimately establishing a common logistic platform, where regulations and standardsare adopted in a coordinated way. Moreover, technology, digitalization, and AI hold key roles in fostering agreen transitionandenergy infrastructure could greatly benefit from digitalization and AI to better modulate production and consumption, specifically,when it comes to renewables. To connectthe region, however, it is necessary to scale up coordination and cooperative projects among the two shores, and ultimately spur more investments in the Southern shore.
This session will answer the following questions: Which are the most urgent investments for infrastructure in the MENA region? What is the role of Development Financial Institutions to support Mediterranean connectivity and improve the infrastructure endowment? Which are the main steps ahead to create a common logisticsplatform for the Mediterranean? How could technology and AI help improve connectivity and foster the green transition?
Mamiko Yokoi Arai, Head of Financial Markets Division, Directorate for Enterprise and Financial Affairs, OECD
Enrico Petrocelli, Secretary General, D20Long-Term Investors Club; Head of International Institutional Relations, CDP
Monica Bennet, Director, Thought Leadership · Global Infrastructure Hub
Nicola Sandri, Global Leader of Transport Infrastructure, McKinsey & Company
Q&A with participants
Ugo Tramballi, Senior Advisor, ISPI, Italy
Carlo Secchi, Head, Centre on Infrastructure and Vice President, ISPI, Italy; European Coordinator for Infrastructural Priority Projects (TEN-T), European Commission
With the knowledge partnership of