6 MARCH 2002

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New Mediterranean business organisation launched

On the eve of the fifth Euro-Mediterranean Business Summit held in Istanbul last week, Ian Mizzi represented the Malta Federation of Industry in his capacity as Vice President at the signing ceremony and press launch of the creation of the Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (UMCE).

The new organisation comprises the main multi-sectoral business organisations from the twelve Mediterranean countries, which participate in the Barcelona Process, namely Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

During the event, the Presidents approved the Statute of the new organisation and elected Hassan Chami, President of CGEM (Morocco), as President and Jacques Sarraf, President of ALI (Lebanon) as Vice-President. It was also decided that the registered office of UMCE would be in Tunisia.

At the gathering President Chami declared, "UMCE is proof of the commitment of all the business associations of the Southern Mediterranean region to actively strengthen their cooperation and to coordinate their actions in favour of faster economic and social development throughout the region."

François Perigot, Honorary President of UNICE and its Special Representative for the Mediterranean, had actively promoted this achievement in the framework of the UNIMED project, managed by UNICE and supported financially by the European Commission. He said: "I am delighted with this outcome. Once again, business people are showing the way, by taking bold and constructive decisions." He added "I am convinced that this strengthened cooperation will favour the economic integration of the Southern Mediterranean region."

For further information, the FOI Secretariat can be contacted on tel: 21234428 or 21222074.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt