The European-Arab Monitor for Development Studies

UfM: promoting digital transformation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

 UfM: promoting digital transformation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

Barcelona, 1 July 2021, the UfM and Mobile World Capital signed a Memorandum of Understanding to consolidate their cooperation through the pursuit of regional and international initiatives to achieve common objectives in the fields of digital transformation, bridging the digital gap and promoting digital skills and entrepreneurship.

Given its cross-cutting nature, the lessons of the pandemic, and its pertinence to a full spectrum of priority areas for the region, promoting digitalisation is an overarching goal of the UfM work. The recently issued  Progress Report on Regional Integration clearly highlighted the need to build digital connectivity, invest in digital technologies and address the demand for digital skills in the UfM Region.

The report mentioned notably that in 2017, only 8% of SMEs in the wider MENA region had an online presence (compared to 80% in the United States) and only 1.5% of the region’s retailers were online.

The Mediterranean has long been a hub of trade, cultural exchange, scientific exploration and leaps forward in human development. In modern times, many of these existing networks and connections have been codified and deepened into formal processes of regional integration – an important means of driving forward shared prosperity.

The Progress Report on Regional Integration

The current pandemic crisis has forced us to change many existing ways of operating, and this gives Euro-Mediterranean countries a historic opportunity to advance development in the region and to reach previously unfulfilled potential in building sustainable and inclusive societies.

Regional integration can enable countries to overcome the global economic crisis by creating dynamic economic relations and ties of solidarity.

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