The Economics and Finance Ministry of the Kingdom of Morocco, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Association des chambres de commerce et d’industrie méditerranéennes (ASCAME), are today holding in Casablanca the 9th FEMIP regional conference on the theme of “Mediterranean infrastructure challenges: the potential of public-private partnerships”.

This international conference is of particular significance as it is being held at a time when investment of over EUR 300 billion will be required by 2030 to modernise infrastructure and public services in the Mediterranean region.

Bringing together the key public-private partnership (PPP) players on both shores of the Mediterranean, this conference has a threefold aim:

To publicise current projects, recent PPPs and the prospects offered for PPPs in the Mediterranean region in terms of return, effective risk distribution and legal and administrative supervision tailored to this type of financial instrument. The conference will also endeavour to illustrate the potential and constraints associated with the PPP model. 

To encourage the partner countries to rapidly improve their ability to mobilise the private sector and enhance their attractiveness for foreign direct investment (FDI). PPPs can be a driver of modernisation, making it possible not only to mobilise the capital required for infrastructure projects but also to help transfer technical and managerial expertise. Furthermore, PPPs have the advantage of instilling discipline between all the project partners at every stage of the design, construction and operation of the infrastructure concerned. 

To pursue a common PPP initiative in the Mediterranean on the basis of the EIB’s experience in the region and provide the interested countries with the requisite financial, operational and technical resources. The goal is to step up the efforts of the EIB and its partners, in particular the European Commission and international financial institutions, and achieve a consensus with the FEMIP countries regarding the use and limits of the PPP model. A joint declaration along those lines will be adopted at the end of the Conference.

Today’s discussion will centre on the regional study of the legal and financial framework for PPPs in the Mediterranean partner countries(1) through the specific analysis of the potential of these countries for PPPs and the tangible operational recommendations proposed.

Based on the findings of this study and drawing on its experience in the field of PPPs within the European Union and outside the Union, the EIB has decided to launch an ambitious technical assistance programme in the Mediterranean over the period 2011-2013 aimed at expanding the use of PPPs and accelerating the transfer of expertise and technologies in this region on the basis of pilot projects.

This international conference represents a continuation of the EIB’s activity in support of the private sector, growth and employment in the Mediterranean and will contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the European Union(2) – objectives on which the Bank has focused its attention in order to best meet the expectations expressed by these countries for stronger, more equitable and more sustainable economic growth.

Note to editors:

The EIB, the leading financial investor in the Mediterranean

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s financial institution and the leading financial investor in the Mediterranean via FEMIP, which was established in 2002. FEMIP provides practical support for economic and social development in the Mediterranean with the aim of improving living conditions in the partner countries. At end-2010, this commitment represented a total investment of more than EUR 12 billion. In 2010, FEMIP had already increased its business volume by 60% – to EUR 2.6 billion – thereby consolidating its position as the leading development investor in the Mediterranean.

Déclaration conjointe - Conclusions de la 9e Conférence FEMIP, 30 mai 2011, Casablanca, Maroc

(1) The study of PPPs in the Mediterranean that will be presented at the Conference is financed by the FEMIP Trust Fund established in 2004 with the participation of 15 lenders from the European Union and the Commission. A number of studies on the region are available on the website of the Trust Fund

(2) in particular, EU-External Action Service Communication on “A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean”