More than 400 business leaders and high-level representatives of major enterprises and economic institutions from Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia gathered in the Portuguese capital Lisbon yesterday for the Second Economic Business Forum of the Western Mediterranean in the framework of the 5+5 Dialogue.
The central theme of the event, aimed to promote dialogue and strengthen economic cooperation between the countries of the region, was sustainable development, structured around four strategic pillars: water, environment, infrastructure and financing. The forum provided a space for reflection and discussion about the economic challenges of each country and the opportunities of cooperation in joint projects or initiatives.
Paulo Portas, Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal, gave a keynote speech during the forum’s inaugural session. He reaffirmed Portugal’s full support to this informal but dynamic and efficient process and stressed the importance of the UfM’s role for its consolidation.
Addressing the audience during the opening session, UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi affirmed:
“The UfM stands today as an operational platform to promote regional integration by fostering coordination efforts and drawing on the synergies with and between governments, institutions and stakeholders of the region. In this respect, the 5+5 Dialogue represents an enhanced cooperation scheme whose actions naturally respond to a global Mediterranean objective.”
He underlined the importance of the launch of the 5+5 Business Council under the framework of the agreement signed between the ten employers’ associations during the Forum of Barcelona.
The first edition of the Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean took place last October 2013, at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean, in Barcelona.
(Source: EU Neighbourhood Info)