“The Mediterranean Growth Initiative (MGI) reminds us the Mediterranean remains both opportunity and risk to its wider region. On the one hand, the opportunity to integrate markets and ensure efficiencies in commerce are huge. On the other, the frailty of some of its states make it an exporter of people and of insecurity. For both sets of reasons we should pay a lot more attention to the region – and [the MGI’s] rich array of statistical insights allows us to do that.”

— Rt Hon Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, former Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, former deputy UN Secretary General, former Administrator UNDP.


“The Mediterranean Growth Initiative fills a major gap in our analytical and statistical information and data relating to economic & financial developments in the Mediterranean region. [It] will be an important, practical addition to the toolkit of private investors and businesses as well as to policy makers in the EU and the Mediterranean countries.”

— Dr Nasser Saidi, member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA, Co-Chair of the OECD MENA Corporate Governance Working Group. Former Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon.


“This is an important effort to compile data from a region which is suffering from a dearth of evidence-based policy-making. The data also illustrates the lack of integration in the region and the potential this represents in terms of increased trade, investment and economic growth, both within the region and with the European Union. Despite all the political and cultural obstacles it is as part of a wider Europe that the region has the potential for truly prosperous and inclusive societies.”

— Professor Erik Berglof, Professor and Director, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics and Political Science. Former Chief Economist and Special Advisor to the President European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, professor and Director of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics.



“THE FUTURE IS REGIONAL. The Mediterranean is a market of 500 million people, producing 10% of global GDP, yet only 1/3 of the area’s total trade is intra regional. Therefore there is significant potential to create regional market, regional infrastructure. At MGI we believe that through more intra regional trade we can create interdependence and promote peace and stability.

On Cyprus more specifically: when the first gas flows, only then Cyprus can claim space in the regional market, where Israel and Egypt have been steadfast. Israel and Egypt are also building connectivity to Jordan. Lebanon is about to invite bids for its own blocks within its EEZ. Cyprus can proceed with commercializing Aphrodite, as it awaits for Exxon Mobil’s assessment of block 10 reserves. Equally Cyprus must finally liberalise its electricity market and integrate renewable energy sources, predominantly solar.”

— Cleopatra Kitti on ‘What Next for East Med Oil and Gas’ at The Economist’s 14th Cyprus Summit entitled ‘Europe: Performing a balancing act. Cyprus: Leaving no stone unturned.’ November 1st and 2nd, 2018.


“There will now be continuity, which is a positive thing, for the economy, for the prospect of a solution and for the EU’s role in the eastern Mediterranean,” said Cleopatra Kitti, an international consultant based in Nicosia who advises corporations and governments. “Partition is unsustainable. I think Anastasiades is smart enough to realise that there needs to be a deal, that this cannot go on, that without it there is bound to be some kind of conflict.”

— ‘Cyprus president Anastasiades defeats leftist challenger’, The Guardian.


“People are becoming increasingly intolerant and turning to the extreme right and left," said Cleopatra Kitti, the island's pre-eminent business adviser to government bodies. "These policies are clearly creating disillusionment with the European project even if Cypriots realise, after the drama of the last week, that their politicians have not been up to the challenge of looking after their interests. The biggest test, now, is going to be for this country's political class.”

— ‘Cyprus saved - but at what cost?’, The Guardian.


“By conviction, I believe that unless the European and North Africa shores of the Med come closer together, creating the opportunities for young people in education and in job creation, and opportunities for businesses to create growth, unless we develop and deliver that and reset the horizon for opportunity, there is no way out of this crisis.”

“If Europe doesn’t come to the Med, the Med will come to Europe,” Kitti said, referring to mass migration that has been underway since the middle of last year. “So how do we resolve these crises?”

— ‘A Mediterranean Initiative’, Global Sources Mag.


“There needs to be a rethink of economics, private sector empowerment, and financing that is conditional on governance and institution-building. There is a need to contextualise risk and redefine opportunity, and a need to focus on the bright spots. Support forces for good, don’t just fight evil.”

— ‘The Flare of the Med', Medium.


Cleopatra represents the Arab International Women‘s Forum (AIWF) at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development‘s annual meeting in Cyrpus.

Download the full AIWF July 2017 newsletter here.