Tag Archives: femise

FEMISE is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 Internal Competition !

We received nineteen (19) eligible proposals for this 2017 round under the General theme of

“The Role of the EU in facilitating the modernization, the transition and international openness of the Mediterranean countries”.

Following the evaluation undertaken by the Evaluation committee, the Selection committee selected nine (9) proposals for funding in the context of the FEMISE-European Commission contract on: “Support to economic research, studies and dialogue of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”.

The selected proposals have a real value added generating fresh knowledge, use rigorous and sound methodology, and have the potential of offering policy recommendations. Selected proposals include 21 different FEMISE Affiliates from 13 different EU-Med countries (5 from the north and 8 from the south) and with the participation of more than 40 researchers from the Mediterranean. Drafts of the research papers will be presented in the forthcoming FEMISE Annual Conference (early 2018).

The nine selected proposals address the following themes :

  • The refugees’ crisis (3)
  • Evaluation of the Association Agreements (2)
  • Innovation and technology transfer (1)
  • Renewable energies, sustainable development, climate change and problems of Water (1)
  • Social Policies and Labour markets (2)

We wish our researchers all the best in the efforts that they will undertake. We strongly encourage all of our affiliates to participate in the fourth round (late 2017) and we wish you every success with your research activities.

The winners are:

FEM43-03

Morocco and Tunisia in the European Global Value Chains: a special focus on business services as innovation drivers, University of Granada (Spain) and University Mohamed V (Morocco)

The main aim of this project is to evaluate the role played by European Global Value Chains, and more specifically by business services, in adding value added and fostering innovation in Morocco and Tunisia. More concretely, we are aimed at achieving three objectives: First, we examine the evolution of the business services content of gross imports, by importing industry and country of origin. This indicator presents the “real” value added that business services create and that it is imported directly (as direct imports of business services) but also indirectly as intermediate inputs into the production of goods and services. Second, we identify the source of foreign value added embodied in domestic final demand for business services by country of origin of the value added. Domestic final demand includes household consumption, government consumption and non-profit institutions serving households. Third, we estimate the product-embodied R&D diffused through imported business services that are used as intermediate inputs by country of origin. Intermediate inputs contain R&D created by other industries and in other countries. The use of intermediate inputs from high-innovative industries (as business services) can contribute to the development of innovations in user industries.

FEM43-04

Les stratégies de développement des énergies renouvelables dans la région MENA : Etude comparative et couloirs de développement.”, University of Toulon (France) and Université de Sousse (Tunisia)

Ce projet vise à analyser la dynamique des stratégies de développement des énergies renouvelables dans les pays MENA sur la période 1990-2014. Pour cela, nous proposons de définir deux indicateurs de production d’énergies renouvelables (global et par source) afin d’identifier le profil de chaque pays tout en portant une attention particulière aux énergies renouvelables issue de la technologie de l’hydraulique. Aussi, nous proposons d’étudier les conséquences sur le développement durable de ces pays au regard des sources des énergies renouvelables et à l’aide d’un modèle économétrique en panel dynamique. Ainsi, le projet se propose de produire des éléments de comparaison entre les pays MENA et d’étudier le lien, à court et à moyen terme, entre les sources d’énergies renouvelables et le développement. Ce projet permettra de mettre en lumière l’impulsion donné par le Plan Solaire Méditerranéen aux différentes stratégies des pays MENA et d’identifier la ou les stratégie (s) gagnante (s) en termes de point de croissance.

FEM43-05 The Long-Term Impact of Syrian Refugees on Turkish Economy: An Input-Output Simulation”, AGREEM – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) and CREM (Turkey)

The main goal of the research proposal is to assess the medium / long – term aggregated economic impact of refugees on the economy of middle income-labour abundant hosting countries using Turkish economy as a case study. This project aims to be understood as a contribution to the evaluation of this long-term economic potential. Our objective is to widen the view about the impact of Syrian refugees in Turkish economy adding a long – term perspective to the partial evidences found in the short – term context.

FEM43-06Income Convergence and the Impact of the Euro-MED Trade and Financial Integration on Macroeconomic Volatility, Institute of Financial Economics AUB (Lebanon), KEDGE Business School (France)

The Mediterranean Partner economies are expected to further benefit from regional financial and trade integration with a proper allocation of savings, and a better ability to share financial risk by reducing consumption and income volatilities. However, the empirical evidence on the effects of trade and financial integration on macroeconomic volatility is still very limited. Therefore, this study will add to the limited existing literature on developing countries by studying, and perhaps for the first time, the relationship between trade and financial integration and macroeconomic volatility in the MED region. The objective of this study is to shed some light on this issue by studying the impact of enhanced regional trade and financial integration on macroeconomic volatility in the Euro-MED region. In this context, we will answer the following question: is there a link between the degree of regional trade and financial integration and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and consumption convergence and macroeconomic volatility in the MED region?

FEM43-07 The Effect of Syrian Refugees on the Labour Market of Host Countries, Macro Center for Political Economics (Israel), Centre Emile Bernheim, University of Brussels (Belgium)

The project aims to analyse how the influx of Syrian refugees influences the economic and social conditions of host countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. Although broad knowledge regarding the challenges of migrant workers has been gathered in the academic field, this is not the case regarding refugees. Despite the extensive discussion about the refugee crisis in Europe, the impact of the Syrian War and resulting instability in the entire region on neighbouring economies receiving refugees has not been sufficiently addressed. The research methodology is based on comparisons of labour markets before and after refugee entrance. This project aspires to improve the decision making process in integrating the refugees in host countries and stabilizing their economic and social status.

FEM43-08Feminization of occupations and its effect on gender wage gap in south Mediterranean Countries‘, October University for modern sciences and arts (Egypt), American University in Cairo (Egypt) and European Institute London School of Economics (UK)

The main aim of the project is dual. First, to analyze the effect of feminization of occupations on gender-occupational segregation in the Mediterranean countries Egypt and Jordan. Second, to identify the effect of feminization of occupations on the gender wage gap. In particular, the analysis will investigate the role of the feminization of occupations on boosting female labor force participation and on decreasing the gender wage gap and increasing the ‘labor market effectiveness and inclusiveness’. Ultimately, the goal is to increase labor markets’ efficiency that promotes living standards and thus manages migration to the EU countries.

FEM43-14

Refugees and hosting country economy: integration models and cooperation policy options, Cespi (Italy) and Royal Scientific Society (Jordan)

In this research we will address the hypothesis of refugees as a potential in Jordanian economy, when socially included, with a methodology that gives an original insight. We will compare the economic inclusion of migrants in an advanced OECD country on one hand, Italy, with the economic inclusion of refugees in Jordan now at hand. The aim of the comparison is to identify the determinants of economic inclusion in Italy in terms of opportunity structure on the territory and its institutions and policies (at local and national levels), and in terms of social capital and compare them with data and experience from Jordan. This will allow to design policy indications based on findings and best practices of economic integration and social inclusion of refugees in the hosting country.

FEM43-16 Analysing the impact of the EU-Tunisia DCFTA on Tunisian Trade and Production, University of Sussex (UK), Université de Tunis, ESSEC (Tunisia)

In contrast to the existing literature the aim of this project is use a disaggregated multi-market partial equilibrium (PE) model. This will provide a much more granular analysis of the possible impact on the trade and production of specific Tunisian industries. The model we propose will be a multi-market model, and built into it will be the possibility of running simulations under both perfect and imperfect competition, and thus to explore the sensitivity of the results to different forms of competitive interaction. The analysis of the EU-Tunisia DCFTA will also shed light both methodologically and empirically on the impact of further DCFTAs which are already under negotiation (eg. Morocco – though currently suspended), and those which have been suggested for the future (such as with Egypt or Jordan).

FEM43-18

Le développement de la petite enfance et l’inégalité des chances au Maghreb (Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie), INSEA (Morocco) ; along with CREAD (Algeria) and University of Toulon (France)

Ce travail permettrait de proposer des recommandations pour une meilleure orientation des politiques en matière de développement et d’amélioration des indices d’équité et d’égalité des chances dans les trois pays : Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie. Dans un premier temps, l’état du développement de la petite enfance (DPE) sera évalué à travers plusieurs indicateurs différents. En deuxième lieu, nous décrirons la relation entre ces indicateurs et un certain nombre de caractéristiques de données de base (dites circonstances) des enfants. Troisièmement, nous quantifierons les chances inégales auxquelles les enfants font face pour vivre leur situation dans chacun de ces indicateurs, à l’aide de l’indice de dissimilitude D-index.

 

How does Migration Boost Trade?

The most recent report by FEMISE members, published in April 2017, highlights the interaction between migration and the density of trade relations in the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region. France and Egypt are the subject of a specific study attesting to the close imbrication between these two phenomena.

Selon l’étude, les réseaux d'immigrants ont pour effet d’augmenter de 10 % à 20 % les échanges commerciaux entre la France et l’Egypte (photo : F.Dubessy)

According to the study, immigrant networks have the effect of increasing trade between France and Egypt by between 10% and 20% (photo : F.Dubessy)

This is indisputable. The econometric analysis of Femise’s experts twists and turns to the conventional wisdom about the impact of migrants on the economy of host countries.
The most recent FEM41-13 report  entitled “The role of vicinity linkages in the EU-Med region for trade growth : Focus on Migration, level of education, and social integration” demonstrates the positive role of the influx of migrants on the increase in the volume of trade between the country of departure and that of destination. According to the study, networks of immigrants present a clear capacity for giving rise to new trade exchanges with estimates of effects at 10%-20% of total trade exchanges for two countries under study.

Marseille, cosmopolitan city par excellence, maintains close and historical relations with Tunis and Algiers. In Sète, the importance of the Moroccan community justifies the exploitation of maritime links with the Kingdom. Migrants duplicate their consumption habits in the host country. These overlaps stimulate economies. This is why Femise advocates an emphasis and a modulation of the commercial policy of the States with regard to their migration strategy.

The report analyzes the case of France and Egypt. Hexagon, which had 7.6 million immigrants in 2013, has always had close historical ties with neighboring Maghreb countries. Of the 220 000 annual migrants recorded in France (between 2000 and 2013), 51% come from Africa. “Exports and imports to and from countries in the MENA3 zone (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) account for 8% of France’s total trade,” the document said.

Caution Towards Selective Migration Policies

73% des émigrés égyptiens choisissent de s’installer dans un pays arabe et 13% en Europe de l’Ouest (©ververidis/123RF )

In the case of Egypt, which has 4 million immigrants around the world, the Femise study demonstrates the beneficial effect on the trade of host countries. 73% of Egyptian emigrants choose to settle in an Arab country and 13% in Western Europe. “By choosing to settle in a western country, they seek to evolve professionally while avoiding corruption, social prejudices in Egypt,” the report states.

The co-authors Andrés Artal-Tur  and Vicente Pallardó-López, professors at the University of Valencia, and John Salevurakis and Mona Said professors at the American University of Cairo (AUC) highlight a number of variables influencing Bilateral trade relations between countries of departure and destination.

Thus, the profile of the migrant has an impact on the nature and intensity of trade. Their level of education, their professional activity, their level of language proficiency and their adaptability to the host country play a decisive role.

If the link between migration and trade is established, it seems legitimate to question the long-term impact of the rise in protectionism and the selective migration policies deployed by OECD member countries in recent months.

The full report is available to download by clicking on the link

Article produced in partnership with Econostrum

Register to the Econostrum Newsletter : http://www.econostrum.info/subscription/

Call for Trainees IM-FEMISE

As part of its activities, the FEMISE network is launching a Call for Candidates for the post of IM-FEMISE Trainee Economist and for a training period of 2 to 4 months.

Deadline for submission: 22 September 2017

We are looking for a trainee whose mission will be to fulfill the following tasks:

  • Data collection, national and regional
  • Synthesis and Creation of Indicators
  • Elaboration of notes and participation in the writing of chapters for the  FEMISE 2017 EUROMED report on the potential of the private sector in the Southern Mediterranean
  • Other missions / research and administrative tasks

For further information, please consult the Trainee Sheet (in french) available here.

CNR-ISSM Workshop: Inequalities in the Mediterranean

Inequalities in the Mediterranean

23rd of June, 2017
(9:30 am-4:30 pm)

National Research Council, Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies (CNR-ISSM), Via Guglielmo Sanfelice, 8,  I-80134 Naples

The CNR-ISSM workshop aim to stimulate the discussion on different aspects of inequalities among and within Mediterranean countries. The discussion is intended to throw light on how to promote greater economic and political integration of the Med region. The term “inequality” would include political as well as socio-economic inequalities.

The workshop intends to provide the grounds for developing new patterns of analysis and addressing policy guidelines which will be able to respond to the dramatic challenges in front of the Mediterranean regions. In a fragile and conflicting environment, in which economic and political variables are strictly interrelated and reinforce each other, a valuable and comprehensive research program requires a multidisciplinary approach that will be analysed by this workshop.

For more information, the agenda is available by clicking here.

Pierre Vimont “Each European State must participate in the effort to welcome refugees in an equitable manner”

Consultant at Carnegie Europe and French Ambassador to the European Union, Pierre Vimont was the organizer of the Valletta Summit on Migration in November 2015. This specialist in European Neighborhood Policy, Transatlantic Relations and french Foreign Policy participated in the Femise annual conference on the 29th and 30th of April 2017 in Casablanca. About a hundred Mediterranean experts delivered their analyzes on the theme of “Migration and Refugees Crisis in the EU-Med: Dawn of an era of shared responsibility? “.

Pierre Vimont est un expert de la politique européenne de voisinage, des relations transatlantiques et de la politique étrangère. ©N.B.C

Pierre Vimont is an expert in European Neighborhood Policy, Transatlantic Relations and french Foreign Policy ©NBC

Since 2010 Arab states are undergoing an unprecedented crisis. What is the state of play?

These crises gave rise to hope in both Arab and European countries. But after a while, some countries faced economic difficulties. Hope gave its place to disenchantement in Syria, Libya and Yemen. There is a real difficulty in defining the needed actions to help these countries achieve political stability, security and economic prosperity.

Immigration of refugees has fragmented the European territory. Is this issue not a danger to Europe?

The management of the refugees crisis creates a profound division within Member States. However, we must never lose hope with Europe. Solidarity, loyal cooperation among all partners, is key to the problem. Italy and Greece, given their geographical position, are making much more efforts to welcome immigrants and grant them the right to asylum. In 2016, 770,000 people benefited from the right to asylum. There are too many disparities between states. Everyone must participate in the effort to welcome refugees in an equitable manner. Nearly 450,000 reside in Germany, while France only counts 35,000.

How is France positioned?

Pierre Vimont lors de la conférence annuelle du Femise, les 29 et 30 avril 2017 à Casablanca. ©NBC

Pierre Vimont at the Femise annual conference, April 29-30 in Casablanca. ©NBC

The French effort in the field of asylum right remains much lower than in Germany. This country replenishes a demographic deficit that generates unfilled jobs. France is trying to improve its asylum system, making it more efficient for decisions to be made more rapidly. The deadlines for granting asylum are currently around one year but should be reduced by half. The french public opinion remains very reserved with regard to refugees and economic emigrants. The French authorities are quite cautious on this issue. Many believe that immigrants generate unfair competition. However, they occupy jobs that the French refuse to perform such as the collection of household garbage in large cities or the employment of seasonal workers in the agricultural field.

How can we avoid any risk of amalgation between terrorist attacks and the rise of Islamism?

Political leaders, intellectuals and elites must be pedagogical. They must explain the migratory phenomena to avoid any risk of amalgamation. To do this, one must have the courage to speak and explain the reality of what is happening on the ground. Political refugees are not illegal immigrants attracted by unscrupulous employers. They are persecuted citizens in their countries, with no alternative but to flee.


The reports of the Plenary Sessions of the FEMISE 2017 Annual conference are available by clicking here.

Interview undertaken by in partnership with Econostrum at teh FEMISE Annual Conference of 2017- Photo by Nathalie Bureau du Colombier.

Subscribe to the Econostrum newsletter : http://www.econostrum.info/subscript

THE NEXT SOCIETY : FEMISE participates in action plan to support innovation in the Mediterranean

A successful launch, in Greece, for THE NEXT SOCIETY, a movement gathering entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, public and private innovation stakeholders in Europe and the Mediterranean.

This community took the opportunity to unveil its action plan implemented over 4 years, with the support of the European Commission. Its activities aim to accompany change in the region by placing the private sector at the core of the dialogue as well as the innovation and competitiveness  measures. THE NEXT SOCIETY echoes an inclusive philosophy based on corporate social responsibility and supports the emergence of talents and new leaders by targeting start-ups, clusters and technology transfer offices.

On the occasion of the event, co-organised by ANIMA Investment Network and Enterprise Greece on May 16th in Athens, almost a hundred Euro-Mediterranean professionals and experts exchanged views on the activities implemented by the initiative, in the presence of Greek Ministers Mr. Dimitris Papadimitriou, Minister of Economy and Development and Mr. Costas Fotakis, Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation.

According to Candace Johnson, president of EBAN (The European Trade Association for Early Stage Investors) “… the entrepreneurs of Maghreb, Middle-East and Africa are the solutions to the world’s problem”. Vladimir Rojanski, from the DG NEAR at the European Commission, underlined the importance of job creation and the development of SMEs and start-ups, as well as the European Union’s strong desire to support innovation through new financing mechanisms in the region.

THE NEXT SOCIETY activates change at every level

On May 16th in Athens, THE NEXT SOCIETY presented a comprehensive action plan supported by the European Commission, which impacts several  levels of the innovation ecosystem:

  • Improve policy frameworks: THE NEXT SOCIETY establishes a public-private dialogue and benchmarks the performance of Mediterranean innovation ecosystems in order to define and implement country strategic roadmaps and improve innovation support strategies.
  • Foster start-up success: THE NEXT SOCIETY offers tailor-made support to Mediterranean start-ups to help them go international and raise funds thanks to workshops and training sessions, immersion into foreign markets and incubation in European innovation hubs, meetings with investors and long-term coaching by committed mentors.
  • Promote and internationalise clusters: THE NEXT SOCIETY develops peer-learning services for business and industrial clusters as well as foreign partnership and guide them towards a Cluster Excellence management approach.
  • Support technology transfer offices (TTO): THE NEXT SOCIETY trains TTO managers like entrepreneurs and help them improve their services, market their innovation portfolio  and meet potential clients.

FEMISE contributing to THE NEXT SOCIETY

As presented by Dr Maryse Louis (General Manager FEMISE, Programs Manager Economic Research Forum) during the launch event in Athens, FEMISE and its affiliates Institut de la Méditerranée and Economic Research Forum will essentially contribute in the two Activities described below.

Dr Maryse Louis (General Manager FEMISE, Programs Manager Economic Research Forum) and Dr Constantin Tsakas (General Secretary FEMISE, General Manager Institut de la Méditerranée)

National Innovation and Competitiveness Monitor (NICM) : Here  in-depth analysis and assessment of existing definitions, scoreboards, benchmarks and relevant studies will take place. This will allow defining new concepts, creating a south-Med scoreboard and a national scoreboard for each country as well as preparing country specific studies on innovation and drafting policy briefs. The way the outputs of this activity will be communicated is an essential part of its success. This will be made through meetings organised throughout the projects, several workshops and conferences and through the country studies and the policy Briefs that will be prepared for each country.

Value Chain Analysis : The objective here will be to encourage enterprises (national / international) to identify and use the technological / innovative capacities of the MED countries.A General overview of sectoral development will be provided to show how the level of high tech exports change dover time by sector in each of the 7 countries. Then, FEMISE will focus on looking which products have performed best in exports, raising the question of where the new comparative advantages for each of the seven countries lie. Lastly, analysing the conditions of success stories at the firm leve will shed light on how have firms succeeded in bringing these new comparative advantages to the fore.

JOIN OR FOLLOW THE NEXT SOCIETY

Mail : welcome@thenextsociety.co

Twitter @TheNext_Society

Facebook THE NEXT SOCIETY

www.thenextsociety.co (coming soon)

 

Migration and the refugees crisis: FEMISE experts discuss the dawn of a new era

Femise 2017 Annual Conference on “Migration and Refugees’ Crisis in the EU-Med: Dawn of an Era of Shared Responsibility?”

Reports of the Plenary Sessions

First Plenary: Impact of the Refugees’ Crisis on Neighbouring Southern countries

Several millions of Syrians have fled their country since 2011 and the beginning of the war. Neighboring riparian states are the destination for the vast majority of them, with Lebanon at the forefront. What will the economic impact of this Syrian diaspora be? And will the refugees return to their country once peace is restored? These are among the questions that have been put at the beginning of this first plenary session of the FEMISE annual Conference (Casablanca, 29-30 April, 2017)

Osama Kadi, FEMISE conference 2017

Devastated by the war that began in March 2011, Syria has lost more than half of its population in only six years. Out of the country’s 25 million inhabitants on the eve of the conflict, 15 million have left the country or have been killed, imprisoned or disabled. “Almost 20,000 engineers left in the first year of the war,” said Osama Kadi, president of the Syrian Economic Task Force (SETF) in his opening statement at the first plenary session. Syrians did not choose to leave their homeland. It was the war that forced them to seek refuge in neighboring countries and cross the Mediterranean risking their lives. As a result, 50 000 people have died drowning since 2011 in makeshift boats trying to escape (presentation available here).

The country is deeply fragmented and the economy lost its capital and human resources. Living conditions are devastating: more than 85% of the remaining population live under the poverty line, most children are out of schools, life expectancy has dropped dramatically to 56 years with no easy access to health care (ratio of doctors to persons is less than is 1:4000) and more than two million houses have been destroyed. Most energy resources have been either damaged or taken over by islamist groups.

FEMISE conference 2017, Casablanca

However, Mr. Kadi sends a message of hope about post-conflict reconstruction. He argues that security, justice and reconciliation, social and economic well-being and governance and participation. Amidst huge challenges, and depending on how the conflict will be resolved, he suggested four sectors that could achieve quick returns: energy sector, agriculture and labor intensive industries. He provided some of his insights about the short and long run reforms plans, inspired by the “Marshall Plan” which reconstructed western Europe after the WWII.

Refugee status to join the formal sector

Mohamed Ali Marouani, FEMISE conference 2017

Complementing the picture, Mohamed Ali Marouani, Professor of Economics at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne highlights: “We are too focused on the humanitarian aspects and not enough on the economic stakes. In Lebanon, Syrian refugees live in poor areas characterized by high rates of unemployment. How can we improve their quality of life? If refugees fail to be part of the economy, they will remain in the informal sector and will not be able to generate trade, “analyzes Mohamed Ali Marouani, who advocated for their integration into the formal labor market during his speech about the economic impact of the Syrian crisis on the neighbouring country: Lebanon (presentation available here).

Lebanon is on the front line. Syrian refugees now represent about 30% of the Lebanese population. This is the highest rate of Syrian refugees in the world. By way of comparison, they represent only 3% of the Turkish population. The massive influx of 1.2 million Syrians considerably weighs on the Lebanese economy. The country has to face a 20% drop in its exports and an important rise in the unemployment rate. His analysis focuses on four possible impacts : first the impact of sharing border with Syria as a country in conflict (which will have huge impact on its trade and economy), second the impact of huge influx of refugees that entered Lebanon with particular need to access the labour markets, third the impact of an extreme case scenario of aid stopping and hence causing complete reliance on income generated from labour and fourth, the positive impact of increasing investment through foreign aid. His analysis showed that costs of lower trade (and tourism) in Lebanon are high given the importance of these sectors for the Lebanese economy. The flows of refugees have a negative impact on unemployment (particularly for the lowest segments of the Lebanese workforce). Global growth is higher, but if we take into account the refugees, growth per capital is lower. This is mainly due to the negative impact of the shocks on investments.

Ibrahim Ahmed ElBadawi, FEMISE conference 2017

While Turkey refuses to give Syrians refugee status, depriving them of Turkish citizenship, Egypt and Sudan have shown an exemplary attitude. “Syrians can have a job in Egypt. Their integration is a model to be studied, “suggests Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi, president of Femise and Managic Director of the Economic Research Forum in Cairo. “Syrians feel safe in Egypt and develop trade relations. It remains to be seen whether at the end of the war, they can return to Syria, “stresses Osama Kadi. “The heritage they enjoy in the host countries will determine their final choice. They lost everything in Syria.

Raed Safadi, FEMISE conference 2017

How can we help them regain the motivation to rebuild their country in ruins, states Raed Safadi during his presentation entitled ” Impact of the refugees on Neighbors: the Good, the Not so Good .. and the Bad “. He advocates the fact that the combined population of Jordan ,Turkey and Lebanon (neighbouring countries) is 94 mn with a GDP of $900; while the population in the EU is 500 mn with a GDP of $18.4 trillion and the population is the USA is 319 mn with a GDP of $17.4 trillion. He explains that the impact of the refugees could be a boon if they fill demographic gaps, integrate in the labour market and become productive and bring bilateral trade and investment; and they could be a burden if they strain on public and private services, cause overcrowding and increase societal strife. The impact of the Syrian conflict has caused greater macroeconomic challenges in the neighbouring countries than the influx of Syrian refugees, such as blocked export channels and destinations, tourism, regional insecurity. However, there are some on-going positive impacts of those refugees, in Turkey 26% of newly established business are Syrians. Dr. Safadi stressed the need to consider both humanitarian and development assistance (presentation available here).

Second Session: Unifying the Mediterranean vision of migration to the benefit of migration and refugees

While the first plenary session highlighted a rather disparate management of the refugee influx by host countries, the second plenary session of the Femise conference (29th of April 2017 in Casablanca) focused on finding concrete solutions to bring a Common vision. Too many divergences exist between the perception and actual management of refugees in the north and south of the Mediterranean, hindering the establishment of a solidarity chain. The phenomenon being perceived as a threat for some and an opportunity for others …

Hugo de Seabra, FEMISE conference 2017

Economic immigrants, political refugees and free movement of individuals … about 6,000 immigrants struck daily at the gates of Europe in 2015, during the crisis peak. Given the magnitude of the phenomenon, EU states were improvising by bringing an empirical response. “The welfare state has exacerbated divisions in Europe. We must build a common ground and develop an inclusive approach, “argues Hugo de Seabra of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, at the initiative of the November 2016 Lisbon Summit on” Improving responses in Europe to the refugee crisis “.He adds that unifying a vision for Europe will require some strategic directions to: create the political will to develop a forward-looking EU Strategy towards migration; develop a coherent and fair mechanism to manage migration flows, to promote work-focused integration that strengthens social belonging and to mobilise the whole society to promote inclusivity. Each of these directions will require well-designed policies that he elaborated in his speech (presentation available here).

Harmonizing the granting of asylum in Europe

Pierre Vimont, FEMISE conference 2017

“A real substantive reflection must be carried out on burden-sharing. We must adopt a genuine immigration policy with harmonized rules, in particular on the time-limits for granting asylum between the different European countries “, suggests Pierre Vimont, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe. The refugee crisis has divided Europe, exacerbating tensions and contributing to the rise of populism. It was not until 2015 that Brussels decided to develop an immigration strategy.

Europe sought regaining control by closing its borders all the while trying to convince the countries of the south to keep immigrants on their soil in return for economic and financial support,” analyzes Pierre Vimont. He added: “Europe would like to duplicate the agreement that was reached with Turkey to Libya, something which is impossible given the political and social situation”. He suggests several lines of work: defining a rigorous policy, organizing a first stage in Africa allowing to legally enter Europe and increasing financial support to Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

Nevertheless, has Europe not amplified the phenomenon? “About 70% of the 6 million Syrian refugees remained in the region. Europe has received only 1.3 million refugees. Of the 770,000 asylum-right beneficiaries in 2016, 450,000 are in Germany and 35,000 in France, “states Senén Florensa, executive president of IEMED in Barcelona.

FEMISE researchers debating, FEMISE conference 2017

Over time, since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, new roads have been opened, displaced or closed. By 2016, 55% of refugees were transiting through Greece and 45% through Italy.

A land of economic immigration, Spain ceased to be attractive when it was struck by the crisis with a saturated labor market. From a transit country, Morocco has seen its status change to become a host country. He highlights the fact that there are overlapping strategies in terms of managing Migration in the EU-Med region: from the EU-27 strategy, the 5+5 the union for the Mediterranean, the ENPI and the Euro-African conference on Migration and development which complicates the picture. He concludes by stating that from “more development for less migration” to “ better migration for more development” and that the migration policies should not be disconnected from development policies.

Third Session — What actions are still needed to Face the Refugees Crisis ?

The Syrian conflict is the most important humanitarian challenge. It marks an exodus of more than five million Syrians which settled in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. The 13.5 million who chose to stay require emergency assistance. The United Nations, through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), are trying to provide concrete answers by helping people in distress. Providing immediate actions while anticipating peace, reconstruction and the return of refugees … Speakers at the last session of the Femise conference delivered their vision for the future.

Charbel Nahas, FEMISE conference 2017

At the end of the war, economists are considering several scenarios. “Civil war has irreversible effects. Should Syrian refugees be fully or partially integrated into host countries? Should we organize their repatriation? “queried Charbel Nahas, economist and former labor minister in Lebanon. Wear, weariness and even trivialization of a conflict that drags on … As the civil war in Syria enters its seventh year, aid is becoming scarce. To date, only US $ 7 million has been received out of the USD 200 million needed to build shelters and provide non-food aid.

A civil war is both demobilization and destruction of resource stocks. The Syrian population is suddenly in surplus. Its migration is a predictable effect. The balance between the population stock and the capital stock has been broken in Lebanon. Behind the complementarity or substitutability of Lebanese workers (and other residents) and Syrians lies the question of the adjustment variable: adaptation of labour, of the economy or society. Considerable choices arise: to integrate the Syrians totally, partially, with differentiated statuses, to organize their exit … In each case, it is the socio-political institutional model that must be redefined and the regional context with it. Contrary to pure economic theory, country-size matters, but in terms of relative strength ratio. The movement of goods is not equivalent to the movement of factors, especially of men and of natural resources. If there were to be a common vision, it should be clearly political. FEMISE can undoubtedly play a role. Lebanon, for its misfortune experienced civil war and reconstruction before Syria. The Lebanese experience, because it presents a case of extreme adaptation, must imperatively be taken into account.

Sophie Nennemacher, FEMISE conference 2017

“During the New York summit in September 2016, countries made concrete financial commitments to support countries in crisis. By 2018, member States also pledged to adopt a global pact for safe, orderly and regular migration. However, this summit was a failure. We are witnesing financial disinterest among States in mobilizing funds for refugees. Thus, UNHCR is launching a new appeal and is trying to re-incite countries to support refugees, “says Sophie Nennemacher, IOM’s regional migration policy officer. She also adds that greater coherence between humanitarian action and development planning to build a resilience community is required (presentation available here).

However, texts protecting migrants in situations of vulnerability do exist. “The United Nations convention on migrants has been scarcely ratified because it gives migrants a lot of rights,” says the migration expert. She describes the vulnerability of the refugees whom routinely fit the decision of a population “left behind”. She provides some details about the efforts of the IOM on this front and their “displacement Tracking matrix” to follow up on the movements of the displaced.

Following the summits of New York and Malta, Kampala will be hosting a summit organized by the African Union in mid-May.

Post-war scenarios

At the end of September, governments, civil society representatives and the private sector will also meet in Cairo to try to reach a consensus and move forward on this issue. “States are called upon to put forward their ideas in order to defend the cause of migrants, to combat human trafficking, to open up legal channels for immigration and to establish lines of cooperation”, adds Sophie Nennemacher. The IOM representative pointed out that tools to monitor migrants’ movements and to assess the needs of populations (refugee camp management, social and psychosocial assistance) do in fact exist. The expert also recalled the multiplier effect of aid on consumption and its stimulating effect on the economy.

Philippe Poinsot, UN coordinator and UNDP representative in Morocco, cites the example of the Shereefian kingdom: “Hospitality is deeply rooted in the Muslim world. Refugees enjoy the same rights as Moroccans “.

For a photo album of the Conference, please click here

Debates, FEMISE Conference 2017, Casablanca

From left to right: Constantin Tsakas, Jala Youssef, Ibrahim ElBadawi, Patricia Augier, Maryse Louis

flag_yellow_highThis event received financial support from the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. Any views expressed in this seminar are the sole responsibility of the speakers.

The profile of export-oriented firms

The productivity of factors of production, and in particular the professional qualifications of employees, determine a firms’ international performance (photo : F.Dubessy)

What factors determine a firm’s ability to export? To answer this question, Femise experts carried out a comparative study between firms located in the European Union, Israel, Turkey and those in the MENA region (Middle East, North Africa). It seems that while productivity, R & D and size are a common denominator, other criteria may underlie the ability of firms to export to MENA countries. In the North and South of the Mediterranean, impediments and accelerators tend to differ.
In studying the factors that determine the ability of firms to export, the comparative study carried out by Femise in 2016 proves to be rich. Entitled “The determinants of export performance of firms in selected MENA countries”, it examines eight countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and West Bank & Gaza.
The productivity of factors of production, and in particular the professional qualifications of employees, determine a firms’ international performance. But, in the Middle East and Maghreb, productivity plays a lesser role than in Europe.
In addition, there are other factors that come into play related to the location of the head office. “In Tunisia and Morocco, newly created companies do not export. Tunisian start-ups with foreign capital are integrated into the international production chain. Traditional firms founded before the transition remained oriented towards the domestic market, “highlighted Alfred Tovias, professor of international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Jan Michalek, professor of economics at the University of Warsaw. In February 2016, the authors of the Femise report had presented the preliminary results of their work at the Femise annual conference in Athens (February 14th).

Western startups are export-oriented

For firms based in the MENA region, seniority, experience and know-how weigh-in on their ability to export. This is not the case for European companies however, which are able to position themselves internationally from the very first months of their creation. In recent years, Western companies have become aware of the strategic role played by demand for foreign markets, the cornerstone of their development.

Conversely, the technological level and the volume of foreign licenses acquired, are factors that influence the export capacity of European companies.

Femise also notes an inherent specificity of SMEs in the MENA region: “Indirect exporters may be less effective in terms of labour productivity, less innovative and more modest than those that export directly,” the report notes.

Moreover, the more MENA firms develop a wide range of products, the more they tend to export. On the other hand, there is no correlation between the nature of private or public capital, and its propensity to export on both shores of the Mediterranean.

Femise conomists encourage authorities of the southern Mediterranean countries to invest in human capital, modernize their education systems and support firms in their research and development efforts. The Femise report also highlights the need for eastern countries to further attract foreign direct investment.

The report is available for download by clicking here.

Article produced in partnership with Econostrum.

The determinants of export performance of firms in selected MENA countries

In this paper we study the determinants of export performance of firms in selected MENA countries jointly and separately and compare them to the performance of firms from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.

The analysis is based on information on individual firms contained in the BEEPS V data base, and covers the period of 2011-2014. We estimate the probability of exports controlling for country and sector specific effects using the probit model. We find that in both groups of countries similar variables affect firm export performance.

Our empirical results obtained for the MENA and CEE countries indicate that theprobability of exporting is positively related to thelevel of productivity, firm size, spending on research and development, the share of university graduates in productive employment and the internationalization of firms. State ownership and the perception of corruption by firms are mostly not statistically significant.

The results obtained for the two groups of countries are statistically not very different, but enough to have some policy implications while results for particular countries and sub-groups of countries reveal a large degree of heterogeneity.

This paper is organized as follows. In Section 1 we survey the relevant literature on the determinants of export performance. In Section 2 we describe the research methodology and the dataset. In Section 3 we report our empirical results. Finally, the last section summarizes and concludes with policy guidelines and directions for future research.

Education and Intergenerational mobility of women in Arab countries

What is the relationship between gender inequalities in education and the intergenerational mobility of women in countries of the southern Mediterranean shore? In a FEMISE report entitled “Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility of Women Educational Attainment and Inclusive Policies in Arab Countries”, FEMISE experts stress the link between inequality and social immobility.

Etudiants marocains. Photo Marie Pierre Vega.

Photo Caroline Garcia.

Gender inequalities in education and schooling are decreasing in countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, even though the improvement in the level of schooling is more important for men than for women, as found by FEMISE researchers of Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and the Bucharest Academy of economic studies in their report (FEM41-01) « Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility of Women Educational Attainment and Inclusive Policies in Arab Countries ».

Intergenerational mobility allows a person to change his/her social position in relation to that of his parents. Thus, the report compares inequality and intergenerational mobility of women in Arab countries compared to that of Central and Eastern European countries. In all countries, researchers find a link between the level of inequality and intergenerational immobility. This concept is called “the Gatsby curve”. Specifically, the higher the inequalities, the more the social situation remains “frozen” from one generation to the next. Few Arab countries see their children reach a higher level of education compared to that of their parents.

Despite a reduction in inequalities and a growing feminization in the field of education, researchers do not see any real progress on the labor market of Arab countries because of rigidities that penalize all women, whether they are employees or business creators.

What recommendations to encourage intergenerational mobility?

“Unemployment can become a real barrier to change,” stated Ahmed Driouchi, one of the authors of the report. This economics professor at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, confirms that women are more affected than men. Arab countries will have to create significantly more jobs than at present to simply succeed in stabilizing the unemployment curve.

The report calls on Arab countries to promote intergenerational mobility, particularly among women. To achieve this, Professor Ahmed Driouchi points out many tools such as “schooling, the fight against educational wastage, transportation, housing, school canteens, student grants.” He stresses that other instruments such as evaluation in relation to international standards (TIMSS, PISA ..), as well as student exchanges or joint activities with EU countries can allow new generations to access higher levels of education than their parents.

The report is available (in english) and can be accessed at the following link.
Article produced in partnership with Econostrum.

To subscribe to the Econostrum Newsletter : http://www.econostrum.info/subscription/

 

Gérard Tur
Page 1 sur 3123