START-UPS: THE GROWTH EGYPT NEEDS

START-UPS: THE GROWTH EGYPT NEEDS

Egypt is the Mediterranean region’s largest economy, connecting the Arab world to Europe through my native country Cyprus, which forms the continent’s south-eastern border. My ties to Egypt are quite personal, as I bear the name of Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt until the Roman period. Curious about the history of this richly diverse country, I travelled through Egypt in my youth, exploring the Sinai mountain region while on a religious pilgrimage to St Catherine’s monastery. I also worked as a conflict resolution volunteer in rural areas in the northern and eastern regions.

At the last European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) annual meeting and business forum, where I represented the Arab International Women’s Forum, Egypt was seen to offer compelling opportunities, with reforms across sectors, an eagerness to attract investors in manufacturing, food production, processing and distribution, and energy – specifically renewables. The conversation missed a key dynamic for growth, however: youth, specifically young people as Egypt’s start-up entrepreneurs, including the tools they need to prosper, especially their access to finance. 

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‘It is a myth that Greek people don’t work. Greek people work long, hard hours and are, by nature, entrepreneurial.’

‘It is a myth that Greek people don’t work. Greek people work long, hard hours and are, by nature, entrepreneurial.’

I have conducted business in Greece through every phase of the recent economic cycle: the Golden years of the early 1990s, the post-Balkan Wars stage of 1999–2003, the post-Olympic games period from 2004–2009 and the challenging years of 2009–2012. 

I had the honour of advising the Greek government during its European presidency of 2003 on international strategic communications and in 2004 on European structural fund absorption strategies. Then, from 2005–2010, I advised the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation on its engagement with European institutions (prior to its privatisation under Deutsche Telekom), as well as working on a number of other strategic industry initiatives in the financial services and energy sectors as Greece became the business hub of South-East Europe. Given my work, I was able to dive deeply and gain an understanding of the labour market structure in both the public and the private sectors. 

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TURKEY AS A CONSTRUCTIVE FORCE FOR GROWTH

TURKEY AS A CONSTRUCTIVE FORCE FOR GROWTH

With a population of almost 80 million, Turkey has the second-largest economy in the Mediterranean region after Egypt. At different periods of my life I have lived and worked in, and I still continue to engage with, this naturally beautiful country. I have found principled and trusted collaborators there and built precious and lifelong friendships. The values of family, trusted business partnerships, faith, friendship, culture and community are as strong in Turkey as they are anywhere in Europe and the rest of the world.

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ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE MEDITERRANEAN: A CLOSER LOOK

ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE MEDITERRANEAN: A CLOSER LOOK

Words by Adam Green

The Mediterranean region encompasses the southern countries of Europe and the northernmost nations of Africa, stretching from Spain to Cyprus, from Libya to Albania. Home to 21 countries and 500 million people, this region produces 10 per cent of the world’s GDP and combines a rich diversity – culturally, linguistically and economically – along with a shared history of commerce, and of conflict. 

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BREXIT AND THE VIEW FROM THE SOUTH

BREXIT AND THE VIEW FROM THE SOUTH

How do Britain’s divorce proceedings look from a Mediterranean standpoint?

These are strange and confusing times for the many European citizens and European nations that know or admire the United Kingdom. Many of us are still at a loss to understand what the country hopes to gain by leaving the European Union, or how the UK intends to go it alone. But the talks about the terms under which Britain will leave the EU are well under way, and I believe that we should consider whether there is any useful advice or insights we can provide from the Mediterranean perspective. Are there practical ways in which the countries of our region can help Britain once Brexit takes place?

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