Investment summit aims to boost regional integration and EU investment in Southern Mediterranean
European Commission - IP/08/542 08/04/2008
Brussels, 8 April 2008
Leaders from the signatories of the Agadir Agreement (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan) are today meeting senior EU policy-makers and business representatives for talks designed to sharply increase EU investment in the Southern Mediterranean. The forum focuses on improving legal frameworks for investment, encouraging joint partnerships between EU and Southern Mediterranean businesses and boosting EU investment in the region, which is among the lowest for any such region globally. The Forum was opened by EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.
Peter Mandelson said: "Although they increasingly trade with the EU, it is just as important to help the countries of the Agadir Agreement to develop their trade with each other. The countries of the Agadir Agreement have taken a big step in creating a free trade agreement. We need to reinforce that by boosting EU investment in the region. Despite their closeness to Europe and their promising growth, the countries of the Southern Mediterranean have attracted only 1% of EU foreign investment since 2000. We need to change that."
The EU is a strong supporter of the 'Agadir Agreement', which was signed in 2004, establishing a free trade agreement between Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. After a long ratification process the agreement became operational in April 2007. The goal of the EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries remains an EU-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010.
For complete programme and list of participants see: http://www.agadiragreement-events.org/