Experts’ Workshop Economic recovery in the South Med region post-Covid19 - Regionalprogramm Politischer Dialog und regionale Integration im Südlichen Mittelmeer
While restoring global health remains the top priority, it cannot be denied that the strict measures enforced have caused massive economic shocks. With the prolongation of lockdown, quarantine, physical distancing and other isolation measures to suppress the transmission of the virus, the global economy has been sliding into a recession (ILO, 2020). As for 2022, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development -ERBD economists expects a growth of 4.6 per cent, provided the region’s economies are supported by structural reforms, a recovery in foreign investment and stronger trade flows.
Southern Mediterranean countries, which already have high levels of poverty and weak or absent social infrastructure and services, face uniquely pressing economic challenges, including a massive drop in oil prices and rampant unemployment. The sanitary crises added a layer of challenges to the pre-existing issues to be addressed in the region, which has prompted governments to adopt emergency financial measures and develop aggressive stimulus packages to avoid an economic collapse.
The mitigation of Covid-19 restrictions coupled with the vaccine rollout had a positive impact on MENA economies, according to IMF’s projections (World Economic Outlook – 2021). However, the economic recovery remains uncertain and low-income and developing economies keep on struggling (World Bank, 2021).
In this respect, multilateral actions coupled with national-level policies, tailored to the stage of the crisis, are crucial in order to catalyze a sustainable, inclusive recovery. It is within this framework that several international organisations and regional business development platforms spared no effort to support the governmental response to the crisis and to engage economic recovery in the MENA region.
Main objectives of the Workshop
In the strive towards an economic recovery in the Southern Mediterranean region in a post-pandemic context, the Regional Programme Political Dialogue South Mediterranean of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS PolDiMed) and the Union of the Mediteranean Confederations of Enterprises (BUSINESSMED) joined forces by hosting an Experts’ Workshop that intends to provide:
- An overview on the current economic and geopolitcal situation in the South Med region;
- An Insight on the latest recovery reforms as well as the ongoing efforts deployed by the international and regional business agencies since the pandemic outbreak;
- Broadening the understanding of the expectations and the perspectives of the regional integration and the renewed EUneighbourhood partnership including the opportunities offered within the Neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument (NDICI);
- A glimpse on crisis resilience from a sectoral perspective and implications for businesses. The recommendations arising from the Workshop’s key speakers and experts will be further developed under a policy paper for an effective economic recovery in the MENA region, with a specific focus on the current and possible reforms and regional relevant collaboration frameworks.