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UNION of ARAB BANKS | ASSOCIAZIONE BANCARIA ITALIANA | SIMEST, Rome 2011

Member of the Working Group and advisor for the Islamic modes of financing to the Mediterranean Partnership Fund (MPF), an initiative aiming to support the “Arab Spring” by fostering economic development.

SIMEST , supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development, proposed the establishment of a new international financial mechanism eying the development of the Mediterranean region and boosting regional trade and integration. This “Mediterranean Partnership Fund”, both conventional and Islamic, would be focusing on the SMEs sector, recognized as the backbone of the economy of the MENA region's countries. It would encourage the SMEs' growth primarily through the export chain with a particular attention paid to employment generating activities and the development of entrepreneurship.

The ultimate goal of the MPF was to support the “Arab Spring” by fostering - in parallel with the ongoing political and institutional changes - a sustainable economic development and social stabilization, and fill the gap of international financial resources tagged to the development of the private sector. This goal was meant to be accomplished by developing the potential of the SMEs working on those areas where the MPF intervention would easily spill over the whole national economy.

The MPF would have had a private nature while being supported by the public hand. Opened to different stakeholders and sources of contribution, it would have capitalized on the expertise, skills and resources of its members, private or public players, multilateral or national agencies. Being innovative in nature and scope, the MPF would have complemented the existing financial instruments and initiatives for the MENA countries without any overlapping, and contribute to the achievement of developmental objectives set out by the G8 with the launching of the Deauville Partnership.

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Piero della Francesca, ‘La città ideale’, Italy XVI century