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, aims 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.
New Funds for a post-pandemic recovery
On top of the recent oil market crisis and the drop in FDIs, the Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the economy of the MENA region, estimated to contract by 4.2% by the end of the year. Governments and multilateral development and investment banks are now more than ever acting towards the creation of a future which is not only more inclusive, but above all greener, more sustainable and digital. Digitalization could constitute a major driver in relaunching economic growth in the area, further stimulated by the new funds and resources of the G20 and the Next Generation EU. Such fortification would promote the influence of MENA countries within global value chains’ dynamics, through a process of nearshoring aimed at increasing their centrality in the different steps of global production. Thus, a comprehensive strategy harmoniously combining financial, environmental and social policies, while encouraging effective public-private cooperation, will be deemed vital to build back a better and, above all, different future.
Questions for debate:
– How have multilateral development banks’ and major financial institutions’ economic recovery plans adapted to the new imperatives dictated by the pandemic? And where will the funds mainly come from in the future?
– What kind of investments and reforms will be necessary to foster an economic and infrastructural integration in the region in the aftermath of Covid-19? And how will they affect the structure of global value chains?
– What will be the role of Next Generation EU and the G20 in reviving the economic growth in the area?
Towards a regional integration in the Mediterranean: the core role of energy and transportation
Due to their geographical location and abundant fossil fuel reserves, the MENA countries have traditionally covered a leading role in the development of the global energy sector. However, adding to the region’s pre-existing geopolitical and financial instabilities, Covid-19 has asked for new forms of regional and international dialogue, new coordinated investments and new cooperative approaches to efficiently revive regional economies while avoiding overlapping. Such approaches encompass smart infrastructures and transportations, increasingly digital and designed to emphasize synergies and foster a sustainable transition across the whole region through new sources of energy, in particular green hydrogen and renewables. In this sense, together with the resources provided by the G20, the European Green Deal and the Next Generation EU will possibly be crucial catalysts of green investments, eventually boosting the sustainable transition for the whole Mediterranean area.
Questions for debate:
– On which projects should the infrastructural and energetic cooperation between the EU and MENA concentrate to revive the economy following the pandemic? And what will be their main impacts?
– How could the G20 and European Green Deal help accelerate the energetic transition in the Southern shore of the Mediterranean, recently slowed down by Covid-19?