Odyssea, represented by its Algerian partner, Arslan Chikhaoui, CEO of Nord Sud Ventures (NSV), participated in the bilateral meeting held in Rome on 22 February 2018 which brought together the President of the Mediterranean Union of Business Confederations (BUSINESSMED) and in her capacity as well of President of the Algerian Confederation of Enterprises (CGEA), Mrs. Saida Neghza, and the President of Confindustria, Mr. Vincenzo Boccia. Mr. Chikhaoui was invited under his three-fold capacity as Advisor to the President of Businessmed and CGEA, Member of the Expert Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum, and partner of the Odyssea project.
This high-level bilateral BusinessMed-Confidustria meeting focused, in particular, on the sustainable development of the Mediterranean, in general, and North Africa, in particular, and on how the second European industrial force, Italy, could position itself sustainably in North Africa? The consolidation of the business ecosystem between Algeria and Italy through the development of added-value sectors (mechanical industry, industrial subcontracting, technological innovation, blue economy, etc.) as well as capacity building of youth through training and professional integration projects, were discussed between the two parties. This meeting was an opportunity to enhance regional integration and multilateral cooperation and give back to the Mediterranean its central place in North-South relations via a new European-Mediterranean-Africa vertical approach. In this regards, both parties approached the question of blue economy as a factor of sustainable development in the Mediterranean region. Mr Arslan Chikhaoui took this opportunity to highlight the EU’s H2020 program and especially the ODYSSEA project as an innovative platform for the collection and processing, in real time, marine data and information useful to economic operators in order to be supported by the various Mediterranean employers’ organizations. The President of Confindustria, Mr. Boccia, expressed his interest for Odyssea and requested to send him documentation on this issue via the President of BusinessMed and if necessary to organize at Confindustria an information workshop.
On the same day, BusinessMed held, at Confindustria headquarters, its first Executive Committee for the year 2018 gathering a large delegation of representatives of the employers’ organizations of the Euro-Mediterranean Region (Algeria, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Syria and Tunisia). At this meeting, Odyssea was present through its partner, Mr. Arslan Chikhaoui. The meeting was an opportunity to review the activities carried out and the prospects for future development by focusing on European projects directed to the regional. During this meeting EBSO Med “Boosting Business Support Organizations and Business Networking in Southern Mediterranean Neighbourhood Countries” project was presented to the participants. This is a new project funded by the European Commission, led by BusinesMed. EBSO Med aims to stimulate the Mediterranean business ecosystem by promoting inclusive economic development and job creation through the strengthening of private sector organizations in the Southern Mediterranean neighbourhood countries. More specifically, EBSO Med will improve the management capacity of Business Support Organizations (OSEs) in the Euro-Mediterranean area by improving the services offered to affiliated companies and setting quality standards. The action will support the private sector actors of the Mediterranean in the development of business links with a view to closer collaboration between the countries of the Southern Mediterranean shore and their counterparts in Europe, by supporting them in financing their entrepreneurial projects and directing them in the fund raising.
According to Mr. Arslan Chikhaoui, the Services offered by Odyssea could be part of the service package that EBSO will provide. A BusinessMed partnership with Odyssea could be considered.