Mediterranean economic week Introductory Session - Digital Transition and Business Evolution in the Mediterranean

Digital technology has brought about immense changes to society, business and trade, human relationships and international relations. These developments are having major effects on both public sector organisations and private companies, not only in developed countries but also in emerging economies around the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa. Dealing with change on this scale means anticipating, underst anding and debating the nature of its impact, in order to ensure that new developments will benefit as many people as possible. The introductory session of Mediterranean Economic Week will be devoted to this theme, with a number experts having been invited to share their views.

"Mediterranean Economic Week aims to shine a spotlight on the positive utility of the Mediterranean Sea at a time when news coverage is focused on the refugee crisis. This issue should not be sidelined, of course, but it is also important to highlight the myriad opportunities offered by the Mediterranean region in terms of employment, development, and international cooperation," explains Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Co-President of the OCEMO. "Today, the digital sector is creating jobs on both sides of the Mediterranean. These types of major changes affect every sector. Our region is at the forefront of the digital sector, as demonstrated by the success of French Tech Aix-Marseille, The Camp, and our "smart cities" initiative. However, it is also clear that on a national level, individual European or Mediterranean countries would be unable to compete directly with digital multinationals. Therefore, cooperation between Mediterranean countries is essential in order to achieve the necessary critical mass. It is important that we combine our skills, share best practices and bring our mutual expertise to the fore. Even today, how many people know that IPhone apps being sold in the United States are designed and developed in Ramallah, right in the heart of occupied Palestinian territories? "

The level of cooperation being put into action during Mediterranean Economic Week goes well beyond the scope of previous international partnerships. "Over the last ten years, Mediterranean Economic Week has proven its role as a unifying force for the Mediterranean region. The momentum of consolidation built up over ten years of fruitful exchange and feedback has now led to a more sustained commitment to sub-Saharan Africa. The synergies that have been developed since the early days of this major international event have highlighted the importance of every Mediterranean region in the gr and scheme of global trade and economic integration."

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