Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the EIB in charge of FEMIP, key speaker at the Economist Conference.
The Europe-Mediterranean region is one of expanding opportunity. With 720 million inhabitants (including the whole of the EU), EuroMed could become a common market by 2012. Such a large market - bigger by far than China - is one that businesses and investors must reckon with.
The Euro-Mediterranean Investment Summit 2005 brings together global politicians, investors and executives, all keen to develop economic links between the prosperous north shore and a southern shore associated with a certain amount of risk, yet full of promise and opportunity. Since Malta and Cyprus joined the EU, the MEDA region is defined as the ten Southern Mediterranean and Middle East trading partners of the EU: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.
The Euro-Mediterranean Investment Summit will explore the concrete actions that must be taken to speed up progress in investments and exchanges in the EuroMed region. The geo-strategic role of the Mediterranean region will also be examined, including a study of the free-trade zone models that have been created to stimulate foreign direct investment (FDI).
Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the EIB in charge of FEMIP, as key speaker at the Economist Conference, will elaborate on the Euro-Mediterranean Facility for Investment and Partnership (FEMIP)'s role in the Region.
FEMIP is a major step forward in financial and economic cooperation between the Union and the Region's Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs). It foresees EUR 8 - 10 billion funding for investment in these countries by 2006. It has at its disposal funds under the existing Euro-Mediterranean mandates, risk capital resources from the EU budget as well as technical assistance and investment aid funds provided by the Union. FEMIP's top priority is to promote private sector development (especially SMEs and FDI) and support projects helping to establish a propitious climate for private investment (economic infrastructure, health and education schemes). FEMIP's ultimate goal is to help the MPCs meet the challenges of economic and social modernisation and enhance regional integration in the run-up to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade area planned for 2010.
FEMIP was inaugurated in October 2002, following the Barcelona European Council in March 2002. In 2003, the first operational year since its launch, FEMIP lending in the MPCs reached the record figure of EUR 2.1 billion (EUR 1.8 billion in 2002). This confirms its position as a major player in promoting the region's economic development and stability. The Brussels European Council in December 2003 further reinforced the role of FEMIP calling for closer cooperation between the 35 Barcelona Process countries, with the establishment of local FEMIP offices in the Mediterranean region, and additional innovative financing instruments.