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    The European Investment Bank will be hosting a conference on “Mediterranean SME’s needs along the business life cycle” on 6 March 2009 in Rabat, Morocco.

    Who should attend?

    The Conference will bring together government officials as well as representatives of the private sector and international financing institutions.

    The issue

    Despite major reforms and improvements during the past years, the southern Mediterranean region does not yet offer a sufficiently competitive environment, either for developing local initiatives or for capturing the share of domestic and foreign investment flows it deserves, given its geographical situation and natural assets. Around 30 to 40 million jobs will have to be created by 2020, just to keep the unemployment rate at its present level. This long-term development of Mediterranean partner countries depends to a large extent on productive jobs being created by SMEs and micro-enterprises, which account for two thirds of local employment.

    Programme

    Updating the prognosis for the funding that will be required by Mediterranean SMEs for start-ups and expansion will be one of the topics of the 5th FEMIP Conference. The participants will also look at the conditions that favour the emergence of regional champions that could raise the profile of businesses and increase the attractiveness of the Mediterranean partner countries. Finally, they will highlight progress achieved in the area of access to finance for SMEs in the context of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise.

    The conference is organised into three sessions looking on the following topics:

    • What are the start-ups’ needs in terms of access to finance and business support services?
    • How to support SMEs during their growth?
    • Managing business transmission and failure: what are the conditions for success?

    Format

    The conference will be interactive. After the opening session, which will provide a broad outline of the topics to be discussed, each session will be introduced by an expert in the field, and a panel will then comment briefly on the subject before opening the floor to discussion with conference participants.

    The conference languages will be English, French and Arabic with simultaneous interpretation available throughout all sessions.

    Conference venue

    Golden Tulip

    Farah Hotel

    Sidi Makhlouf Square

    Rabat, Morocco