We ended 2018 – our third year running – with a bang: The Mediterranean Growth Initiative (MGI) has signed a collaboration agreement...

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...with the World Bank’s Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI). This collaboration will allow data analysis drawn from MGI.online to feed into CMI’s policy recommendations and to jointly co-create networking, dialogue and investor opportunities. 

As a thinker and doer in the Mediterranean, I draw from Pinelopi Goldberg’s blog on her first day on the job as World Bank’s chief economist – discussing her work focus and the World Development report 2020:

“WDR 2020’s goal is to understand why global value chains have formed in some sectors and regions, while others have been left out. It will examine how they affect growth, inequality and poverty. The report will consider the role of new technologies and trade policies in creating incentives to produce closer to home. It will explore how national policies can promote sustainable development and if international cooperation on trade, as well as other policies, can support inclusive growth.”

Looking to 2020 and the direction of WDR, it is more important than ever for the countries of the Mediterranean to benefit from regional integration and collaboration in global value chains, trade routes and investments in infrastructure, human capital, technology. 

At the time of writing, aware of the shifts in world order, international collaboration and market volatility playing out more intensely in our region than in others; it is with a sense of great pragmatism that I speak of the need for a focus on reform, growth and opportunity by all stakeholders.

2019 will see re-alignment post Brexit or no Brexit, North Africa’s much-needed stabilisation, the balance of proxies and international powers peace-making in Syria, reforms in South European economies, the European Parliament elections and a new EU Commission.

The Mediterranean region, Europe’s frontline to Africa, can become a dynamic and connected region through technology, human capital and infrastructure. The World Development Report 2019 notes that from 2010-2017 technology has enabled 9 million merchants in 220 countries. It also notes that high skilled university graduates currently make up almost 30 per cent of the unemployed pool of labour in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Whilst in other regions of the world, technology has enabled employment, trade and investment beyond borders for start-ups, SMEs and international businesses, there is untapped potential in the Mediterranean. There is much to gain for the region, Europe and the world, once the Mediterranean taps its potential.

The MGI will continue to offer a window of growth and opportunity in the Mediterranean, through evidence-based analysis, networking and dialogue with an ever-growing network of thinkers and doers. 

Join us on this journey.

Cleopatra Kitti, Founder