ASCAME and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce will bring together businessmen, entrepreneurs and institutions from both sides of the Mediterranean in Barcelona on 15 and 16 November for MedaWeek 2023, the Mediterranean Economic Leaders' Week

MedaWeek 2023 will discuss three major challenges and opportunities for the Mediterranean: digital transformation, entrepreneurship and sustainability

Anwar Zibaoui
photo_camera Anwar Zibaoui

The Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona are organising MedaWeek Barcelona 2023, the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders, on 15 and 16 November. In its 17th edition, this socio-economic summit of reference in the Mediterranean will focus on the present and future of the region's economies and its main business and investment opportunities, debating and analysing with experts and business and institutional representatives the most topical challenges, such as sustainability and climate change, financing, female entrepreneurship, the economic development of Africa, opportunities in sectors such as health, tourism and textiles, and the progressive digitisation of the region.  

With the aim of establishing itself once again as the main business platform and loudspeaker for the regional private sector in the Mediterranean, MedaWeek will count on the collaboration of more than 20 regional and international organisations, including the Union for the Mediterranean, the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), the Consorci de la Zona Franca, the Association of Mediterranean Businesswomen's Organisations (Afaemme), the General Council of Banks and Islamic Financial Institutions (CIBAFI). Also noteworthy is the sponsorship of Digital Realty, the largest provider of Cloud and Carrier Neutral Data Center for colocation and interconnection of technology solutions.  

The MedaWeek 2023 forums, debate and networking sessions have been designed around four pillars:

-Identify concrete and innovative solutions and trends that will shape the region and help its economic ecosystem to move forward in the post COVID-19 and other new scenarios.  

-To create a common and innovative space that serves as a basic axis for the development of relations between the two shores of the Mediterranean.  

-Promote the integration of the region to boost investment, exports, job creation and new businesses, with a focus on the rise of female entrepreneurship throughout the region. 

-Building a common future based on new technologies, innovation, digital transformation, green economy, renewable energies, health, tourism and sustainable food, among others. 

In the current multi-crisis context, both geopolitically, with the war in Ukraine and tensions in the Middle East, and financially, technologically and climatically, it is more necessary than ever to seek synergies and new avenues for cooperation between the public and private sectors on both sides of the Mediterranean. "Despite the current situation, we want hope to triumph over uncertainty, ideas of development over violence, building bridges over walls," says Anwar Zibaoui, general coordinator of ASCAME. He adds: "MedaWeek is a unique opportunity for networking, establishing business contacts with decision-makers, opening doors to different organisations and companies to the latest and most exciting regional projects. In addition, through panels, workshops and networking sessions, this summit of Mediterranean leaders helps key business, industrial, investment and professional players to understand the changing trends in all sectors, territories and groups of the Mediterranean economies". 

Two days to serve as a business and economic platform 

Over two days, MedaWeek Barcelona 2023 will bring together top speakers, companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs at the Llotja de Mar (Barcelona). The event will begin on 15 November with an inaugural session focused on climate change. More specifically, on the necessary prevention, preparation and management mechanisms that help to prevent, or at least minimise, natural disasters such as those that have occurred this year: earthquakes in Turkey, Syria or Morocco or the latest floods in Libya or Greece and other countries.  The aim is to minimise the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean region, which causes losses of between 5 and 15% of its GDP per year. The day will continue with the session "The Mediterranean of tomorrow", where the crucial role of connectivity and digitalisation in shaping the future of the Mediterranean region will be discussed.  

The first day will continue with several forums. On the one hand, the 20th New Africa Business Development Forum, composed of two sessions oriented towards an African digital economy, business and investment opportunities in Africa and a talk on African investors. On the other hand, the 15th Mediterranean Businesswomen's Forum, which will bring together prominent businesswomen, global leaders from both the public and private sectors, and entrepreneurs from across the Mediterranean to identify sectoral opportunities and access to finance to help ensure a more equitable and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

The second day, on the 16th, will host five new forums to discuss other current challenges: 

- 8th Mediterranean Forum on Islamic Finance, which will examine how Islamic finance can support financial plans and economic development in the Mediterranean;  

- 3rd Mediterranean Health Forum, focusing on the emergence and personalisation of digital medicine and data, the entry of disruptive and non-traditional competitors, the demand for the expansion of care delivery sites, and the renewal of payment and public financing models. 

- 2nd Mediterranean Green and Blue Economy Forum, which will focus on the challenges and business opportunities for the involvement of cutting-edge technologies in the Mediterranean. 

- 7th Mediterranean Textile Forum, which will focus on the innovative and creative aspects of the textile sector to contribute to results such as deeper industrial partnership and better jobs. 

- Mediterranean Tourism Industry Forum: Hospitality and Cruise, which will explore how to develop the tourism ecosystem in a careful and considered way that provides the right products and experiences to meet the demand of future visitors. This session will be in collaboration with Eco-Cruising Fu Tour, which is a project co-funded by the European Union that aims to exploit the green and blue potential of tourism SMEs in the Western Mediterranean.  

MedaWeek Barcelona 2023 will end with a "Matchmaking Event & Afterwork Cocktail", organised by 22@Network Barcelona, which is Barcelona's innovation and entrepreneurship district. This event will bring together in an innovation room start-ups, entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, institutions, financial institutions, investors and funds in a ring pitch where entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to explain their business projects. 

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