Euro-Mediterranean Transport and Logistics: A Catalyst of Regional Cooperation in the Aftermath of the Global Economic Crisis - Regional Programme Political Dialogue and regional Integration in the Southern Mediterranean
From May 9 to May 10, 2023, KAS PolDiMed and BUSINESSMED jointly hosted a conference on the Euro-Mediterranean transport and logistics, that convened leading regional experts from the field with professional and research backgrounds. They cooperatively provided an overview of the state of the art of transport and logistics in the region in view of recent economic and geopolitical shifts. Lively discussions on challenges and opportunities of regional value chains, the green transition, private sector involvement, and digitalization, eventually resulted in policy recommendations to foster EU-South trade as economic recovery plan.
COVID-19, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and resulting economic and geopolitical shifts disrupted the increasingly globalized value chains and led to tendencies of re- and nearshoring. The experts pointed out different resulting challenges and opportunities to the transport and logistics sector. It became clear that now is the time to increase the EU-Mediterranean cooperation to capitalize on the vast potential that lies in investment, more resilient value chains, employment, sustainability, value creation, and development.
The panels were an opportunity to broaden the understanding of the potential the digital- and the green transition offer, especially to the south Mediterranean region. Moreover, it became clear that trade agreements and institutional cooperation need to be further deepened. Additionally, the event provided a glimpse on the effects of Chinese involvement in the field.
The four rounds of discussion ended with a summary of the main conclusions of the constructive exchanges and relevant proposals made by the various speakers and experts. Their recommendations will be further developed under a brief policy paper for effective economic cooperation in the MENA region, with a specific focus on the transport and logistics sector.
The event was concluded by a visit to Africa’s and the Mediterranean’s biggest port, the Tanger MED port. The field visit provided an excellent example of successful strategies in transport and logistics and their effects on local development and job creation. Thus, the port can certainly inspire future projects of port development in the Mediterranean.