Follow us on
Or combine different search criteria.

[Regional Dialogue] A Post-Pandemic Growth Strategy for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries

  • Starts: Dec 14, 2021
  • Ends: Dec 14, 2021
  • Location: Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Site Saint-Charles – IBD (Hybrid)
  • By: Aix-Marseille School of Economics and Center for Mediterranean Integration, with participation of The Growth Dialogue
  • Towards Sustainable Development Models in a post-covid Mediterranean: AMSE-CMI Knowledge and Policy Dialogues

    Event 1. “A Post-Pandemic Growth Strategy for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries”





    The global pandemic has prompted a re-examination of existing development strategies for growth and development. The countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMCs) have seen their development trajectories dimmed, and in order to provide for more sustainable and equitable income generation for their populations, a rethinking of their development strategies seems essential.


    Following the covid pandemic, CMI partnered with key regional and international institutions to provide new ideas and policy directions for SEMCs and to do so in light of changes in the global economy that were already well underway but that have been made more prominent by the recent events. Among its new knowledge products focusing on the post-covid landscape, a report was produced for CMI by The Growth Dialogue, a Washington-based think-tank of experts driven by the goal of promoting sustainable economic growth. 


    The CMI-GD report highlights how there are numerous areas where changes in current policy would yield high dividends, none more important than the role of the state. Meanwhile, the role of SMEs is crucial, as is the necessity of improving the level of digitalization in economies. Furthermore, as most SEMCs are insufficiently connected to global trade, it suggests they could take away lessons from other regions. Investing in education and skills is also a critical factor for success in attracting better quality FDI and in promoting the acquisition and use of new technologies. Meanwhile, the report stresses how sustainability is also one of the key determinants of longer-term growth. Managing the effects of climate change on agriculture, the energy mix for countries, and livelihoods is a major new challenge.



    As we continue with our current response and recovery strategy and plans, AMSE and CMI are convinced that only through collaboration and partnerships will our goals be fully achieved in the Mediterranean. Therefore the two institutions decided to join their forces and launch the AMSE-CMI Knowledge and Policy Dialogues on Sustainable Development Models. This series of events will provide a platform of dialogue between experts and policy/institutional stakeholders in order to rethink economic, social, and environmental policies under a regional approach and to provide Sustainable Development models in the post-covid Mediterranean. The events will include renowned academic scientists, research scholars, Mediterranean stakeholders, and experts to exchange and share their thoughts on all aspects of post-covid development. The events will include several hybrid sessions organized throughout 2021-2022, hosted at AMSE, that give the voice to high-profile speakers to debate the most urgent development issues.


    For their first event, AMSE and CMI are honored to partner with The Growth Dialogue, a think-tank that seeks to inform, push the frontiers of policy experience, and be of practical use to countries pursuing economic growth objectives. Therefore, after presenting an overview of the report's findings, several axes of discussion will be proposed during this event, including: What can the role of the State be in the post-covid development strategies? How can skills and employability be raised? How can digital economic integration contribute to growth diversification and to strengthening SMEs? What needs to happen for trade integration to contribute to more inclusiveness in the Mediterranean Region? What is the role of Foreign Direct Investment in Regional Value Chains (GVC) post-covid?


    Target Audience and Participation to The Event

    The event will target the general audience from the South, North, and East of the Mediterranean. It welcomes policy makers, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, and all other actors from the Mediterranean that play an active role in enhancing integration. It will consist of a presentation of the report and selected interventions by the discussants followed by a Q&A, allowing participants to interact either physically or by connecting directly from their computer or smartphone with a stable internet connection.



    18:00 – 18:10: Opening by Blanca Moreno-Dodson (CMI, UNOPS) and by Patricia Augier (AMSE) (or other representative designated by AMSE)


    18:10 – 18:35: Presentation of the CMI-Growth Dialogue report by Danny Leipziger (George Washington University, Growth Dialogue Institute) and Carl Dahlman (Growth Dialogue Institute).


    18:35 - 18:45: Intervention by Karim Al Aynaoui (Policy Center for New South) on rethinking economic and social public policies in times of Covid, providing a perspective from Morocco. 


    18:45 – 18:55: Intervention by Leila Baghdadi (ESSECT) on what steps to concretely take to increase opportunities for higher-value exports and greater trade integration, providing a perspective from Tunisia.


    18:55 – 19:05: Intervention by Ragui Assaad (Hubert Humphrey School, University of Minnesota) on what could be done to raise skills, employability and inclusiveness in the region, providing a perspective from Egypt. 


    19:05-19:15: Intervention by AMSE Mediterranean expert on the need for strengthening multilateral and regional cooperation.


    19:15-19:50: Q&A session with the discussants


    19:50-20:00 Concluding remarks by Blanca Moreno-Dodson (CMI, UNOPS) and Patricia Augier (AMSE)


    Moderator: Constantin Tsakas (CMI, UNOPS)


    Session Recording 







    Blanca Moreno-Dodson is the Director of the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), a partnership between multilateral development institutions, national governments, local authorities, and civil society, hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). She has over twenty-eight years of experience as a World Bank development economist, including several positions as Lead Economist, mainly for the Global Tax Team, the West Africa Region, the Investment Climate Department, and the Office of the Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. As a Senior Economist, she previously worked at the World Bank Institute, the West Africa Region, and the Corporate Strategy Group of the World Bank. Her regional experience includes the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia (China, India, and Indonesia).  She started her career as a Robert Shuman scholar at the European Parliament and as a junior economist at the European Commission, before joining the World Bank Group.


    Dr. Moreno-Dodson authored and co-authored five books throughout her career including “Enhancing Mediterranean Integration” (CMI, 2020), “Winning the Tax Wars, Tax Competition, and Cooperation” (Wolters Kluwer, 2017), “Is Fiscal Policy the Answer? A Developing Country Perspective” (World Bank, 2013), “Public Finance for Poverty Reduction.  Case Studies for Africa and Latin America” (World Bank, 2006) and “Scaling Up Poverty Reduction” (World Bank, 2005). She has also been published in several internationally renowned economic journals, such as the Bulletin of Economic Research, Hacienda Pública Española, the USA National Tax Association Journal, and Banca d'Italia Annual Volumes. She is a member of the Alumni Strategic Council of the Aix-Marseille University, France, of the Steering Committee of the Navarra Center for International Development, Spain, and a guest lecturer at Duke University, the USA, and Aix-Marseille University, France. Moreno-Dodson holds a Ph.D. as well as a Masters (Diplôme D’Etudes Approfondies) in International Economics and Finance from the University of Aix-Marseille, France, in addition to a Masters (Licenciatura) in Economics from the University Autonomous of Madrid, Spain. Originally from Zaragoza, Spain, she is fluent in Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese.








    Patricia Augier is a full professor at Aix-Marseille University (AMU) and Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE). Her fields of research trade (rules of origin, non-tariff measures, global value chains), microeconomic issues that concern development (women's empowerment, enterprises), and more general issues that concern obstacles to private sector development. Her works have focused mainly on North African countries. In addition to her position as professor, she was also the scientific coordinator of FEMISE (Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes) which is a network of research institutes in the North and South of the Mediterranean, from September 2015 to June 2020.







    Danny Leipziger is Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University, and Managing Director of the Growth Dialogue. He is former Vice President of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (2004–09) at the World Bank. Dr. Leipziger has taught at GWSB since 2009, focusing on macroeconomics, financial markets, developing countries, and international monetary issues. Over the course of his 28-year career at the World Bank, he has held management positions in East Asia and Latin America, and Caribbean Regions as well as in the World Bank Institute. Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Leipziger served in senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State. He also has been Vice-Chair of the Spence Commission on Growth and Development (2006-2010). Dr. Leipziger is a member of the WEF Futures Council on Growth and Social Inclusion, and he is a board member of the Korea Economic Institute and GW’s CIBER. He holds a Ph. D. in economics from Brown University and has published widely in the areas of development economics and finance, industrial policy, and banking, including books on Korea, Chile, East Asia, Economic Growth, Globalization, and Inequality. He is a media contributor on issues of globalization, innovation, and economic growth and a contributor to Project Syndicate, VoxEU, the Financial Times, and other media outlets.







    Carl Dahlman is currently Senior Policy Advisor for the Growth Dialogue. He was the Chief Economist and Head of the Thematic Division of the Development Centre at the OECD between 2013 and 2016. At the OECD he was in charge of the biannual publication Perspectives on Global Development. He joined the OECD in September 2013 from Georgetown University where he was Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service from 2005 to 2013. Prior to that, he spent 25 years at the World Bank in various research, policy, and managerial positions, including Resident Representative in Mexico (1994-1997), Staff Director of the 1998/1999 World Development Report -Knowledge for Development, Manager and Senior Advisor at the World Bank Institute (1999-2004), Division Chief Private Sector Development, Division Chief for Industrial Strategy and others. Mr. Dahlman has an extensive publications record including 12 books and numerous articles. His most publications include: Harnessing the Digital Economy for Developing Countries (OECD Development Centre working paper, 2017); Perspectives on Global Development: International Migration in a Shifting World (OECD, 2017); A New Rural Development Paradigm for Developing Countries for the 21rst Century (2016); Securing Livelihoods for All: Foresight for Action (OECD 2015);) Perspectives on Global Development: Facing the Middle Income Challenge (OECD, 2014) and The World under Pressure: How China and India are Influencing the Global Economy and Environment (Stanford University Press, 2012). Mr. Dahlman holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Yale University and a BA in International Affairs from Princeton University.









    Karim Al Aynaoui is Executive President of the Policy Center for the New South, and Executive Vice-President of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, and Dean of its Faculty of Governance, Economics, and Social Sciences. From 2005 to 2012, he worked at the Central Bank of Morocco (Bank Al-Maghrib) where he served as Director of Economics, Statistics, and International Relations. He was also in charge of the Research Department and was a member of the cabinet of the Governor. Prior to joining Bank Al-Maghrib, Karim El Aynaoui worked for eight years at the World Bank, as an Economist within the Middle East, North Africa, and Africa regions. He has published books and journal articles on macroeconomic issues in developing countries. His recent work includes co-authored books on renewing Morocco’s growth strategy and on the Moroccan labor market. 


    Karim El Aynaoui holds scientific and advisory positions in various institutions. He is a member of the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, the Scientific Council of the Moroccan Capital Market Authority, and the Strategic Advisory Board of the French Institute of International Relations. He is also a global member of the Trilateral Commission. In the past, he served as a member of the COP22 Scientific Committee. He also serves as an advisor to the CEO and Chairman of the OCP Group, a world leader in the phosphate industry, and a board member of the OCP Foundation. Karim El Aynaoui holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Bordeaux, where he taught courses in statistics and economics for three years.






    Leila Baghdadi is Professor of Economics at ESSECT, University of Tunis, where she holds the World Trade Organization Chair. She is an executive board member of the Central Bank of Tunisia since August 2019. She was appointed as a member of the Tunisian Council of Economic Analysis reporting to the Chief of Government from November 2017 to February 2021. Leila serves on numerous boards and committees. These include among others the Consultative Scientific Council of the Tunisian Institute of Competitiveness and Quantitative Studies, the Advisory Board member of the Economic Research Forum, and a member of the Associate Committee of EMNES. She is an Associate Editor of the Middle East Development Journal. Her research interests include international trade, firms and entrepreneurship, and migration. Leila received her Ph.D. from University Paris 1, Pantheon Sorbonne in 2008. In 2006, she was a WTO Ph.D. fellow. She joined the University of Rome Tor Vergata as a Marie Curie Researcher in September 2007.




      Ragui Assaad is a Professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, where he co-chairs the Master of Development Practice Program. He has been an ERF research fellow since 1994 and serves as a member of its Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for Labor Economics (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. Assaad’s current research focuses on labor markets in the Arab World, with a focus on youth and gender issues as they relate to education, the transition from school to work, employment and unemployment, informality, migration, and family formation.






    Constantin Tsakas works at CMI-UNOPS as Sustainable Development Policies Senior Programme Officer. He leads the programs of CMI’s Climate Change Resilience pillar specifically the “Mediterranean Forum on Energy and Climate Change”, the “Regional Knowledge program on Water” and the “Territorial Resilience to Climate Change” program. He also actively contributes to activities of CMI’s Co-development and Integration pillar, leading analytical work and knowledge production on socioeconomic and political economy dimensions of regional integration (Trade, Global Value Chains, link with SDGs), and to the Dialogue of the Two Shores Technical Platform. He first joined the CMI-World Bank in 2020 as Senior Policy Analyst / Fundraising Consultant. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée working for the emergence of sustainable models of development and for greater involvement of civil society in public policies. As General Secretary of the FEMISE think-tank network (2014-2020) he also worked on the reinforcement of regional dialogue and research on major economic and social issues in the Euro-Mediterranean region. As Senior Lecturer at SciencesPo, Dr. Tsakas also taught on "Openness, growth and economic crisis in Mediterranean countries" at the SciencesPo University Collège of Menton. His publications for international institutions such as the World Bank, CMI, FEMISE, and the European Investment Bank include issues related to Climate Change, Trade Integration, Energy and the Green Deal, Social Entrepreneurship, Women and Youth Empowerment. He holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from Aix-Marseille University (France).