Follow us on
Or combine different search criteria.

[Webinar] New Dimensions of Regional Integration: From Trade to Deeper Integration

  • Starts: Jun 10, 2021
  • Ends: Jun 10, 2021
  • Location: Virtual
  • By: CMI, ITC
  • Enhancing Mediterranean Integration: Regional Knowledge Series

    Session 2. New Dimensions of Regional Integration: From Trade to Deeper Integration





    Despite displaying a large potential, the three interlinked dimensions of regional integration those being —foreign direct investment, trade of goods and services, and peoples’ mobility across the Med region—seem to have fallen short of reaching the ambitious objective set by the pivotal Barcelona Declaration twenty-five years ago.


    This objective was “to turn the Mediterranean basin into an area of dialogue, exchange, and cooperation, guaranteeing peace, stability, and prosperity”.




    The CMI’s book “Enhancing Mediterranean Integration” examines the various dimensions of Mediterranean integration in today’s context and provides policy recommendations for integration approaches that look beyond trade agreements. 


    The book suggests comprehensive trade reforms that could help increase growth and foster workers’ mobility through regularized migration schemes, as well as encourage FDI and cross-country, public-private partnerships. 


    It also puts the spotlight on the need to reduce income disparities and promote social and territorial cohesion in the region. The book advocates for the provision of regional public goods that are beneficial across the region and encourages the creation of targeted initiatives that protect the more financially vulnerable groups such as refugees, unprotected children, and the unemployed, and that meet the demands of the less-favored non-central and non-coastal geographic areas.





    The CMI Regional Knowledge Series provides an in-depth presentation of the book and invites renowned academic scientists, researchers, and scholars to discuss its findings and to share their thoughts on all aspects of regional integration in the Mediterranean. The series will include several webinars throughout 2021, each in partnership with a key Mediterranean partner and featuring high profile speakers who will be debating the most important regional integration points identified in the book, including: 


    • Integration through knowledge, education, and skills-building
    • A regional response to climate change to strengthen environmental resilience and
    • An integration strategy for economic and social advancement in a post-COVID world 


    The first webinar of the series was organized on March 30th, 2021, and was focused on “Setting the stage: A new Vision for the Mediterranean.” Resources and a recording of the event can be found here.


    For this second event, CMI is honored to partner with the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, working towards creating a "trade impact for good". Its mission is to foster inclusive and sustainable economic development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and transition economies and to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


    Therefore, following an overview of the New Dimensions Of Regional Integration and related challenges, the event will touch upon several axes of discussion including the identification of the current externalities induced by trade (economic, social, environmental) and the requirements to manage them, the ways with which trade integration contributes to SDGs in the Mediterranean Region, the challenges facing the South-South Integration, the potential of service trade liberalization holds, the contributions of digital economic integration to growth diversification and to strengthening SMEs, the role of Foreign Direct Investment in Regional Value Chains (GVC), the conditions for a successful GVC participation in the Mediterranean and better integrating the innovation ecosystems in the region.


    The virtual sessions will culminate in a face-to-face or hybrid event, to be held later in 2021.


    Target audience


    The webinar will target the general public from the South, North, and East of the Mediterranean. It welcomes policymakers, the private sector, civil society, think-tanks, and all other actors from the Mediterranean actively playing involved in enhancing integration. It will consist of selected interventions by the discussants followed by a Q&A session allowing participants to interact directly with the speakers.


    The webinar will be held online.  If you wish to participate, please register here to receive connection details.




    Watch the recording of the event





    14:30-14:50: Opening by Blanca Moreno-Dodson (CMI, World Bank) presenting the New Dimensions Of Regional Integration and related challenges in the Mediterranean.


    14:50-15:10: Intervention by Lilia Hachem Naas (International Trade Centre) discussing how to create “trade impact for good” in the Mediterranean and priority areas for reform and cooperation to strengthen SMEs.


    15:10-15:30: Intervention by Bernard Hoekman (European University Institute), discussing the potential of services liberalization and implications related to non-tariff barriers in the Euro-Mediterranean relations. 


    15:30-15:50: Intervention by Leila Baghdadi (University of Tunis, World Trade Organization Chair) on migration, trade, and investment linkages, and how they could be treated in future agreements. 


    15:50-16:10: Intervention by Emmanuel Noutary (ANIMA, TheNextSociety) discussing how to go towards more integration of innovation ecosystems in the Mediterranean.


    16:10-16:30: Intervention by Patricia Augier (Aix-Marseille University) discussing what type of Global Value Chains and Regional Value Chains could be deepened in the South and East Mediterranean and the possibilities of technological transfers.


    16:30-17:15: Q&A session with the discussants


    17:15-17:30 Concluding remarks by Blanca Moreno-Dodson (CMI, World Bank) and Lilia Hachem Naas (International Trade Centre)


    Moderator: Constantin Tsakas (CMI, World Bank) 













    Blanca Moreno-Dodson is the Manager of the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), a partnership between the World Bank and several national, regional, and local authorities from around the Mediterranean, as well as international financial institutions and civil society.


    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.


    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, and 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 (Diplome 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.











    LILIA HACHEM NAAS. A Tunisian national, Ms. Lilia Hachem Naas has worked for the United Nations for more than 20 years. She is currently Chief of Office for the Middle East and North Africa (OMENA) at the International Trade Centre in Geneva. In her role, Ms. Naas was able to strengthen the strategic position of ITC in the Arab region through deepening collaboration with key institutions at national and regional levels, including activating new partnerships with development partners and the donor community. From Oct. 2017 to Dec 2019, Ms. Naas was Director of the sub-regional Office for North Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).  During her tenure, Ms. Naas strengthened the relationship and the visibility of the Office in the seven-member states the Office is servicing. In particular, the Office launched new programs on macroeconomic policy, supported the ratification and implementation of AfCFTA, and conducted an assessment of SDGs implementation. She also led the development of the area of specialization on “employment, skills and sustainable development”. She also held the position of Head of the Local Development Program of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) where she was responsible for strategic development and building the capacity of local authorities in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ms. Hachem Naas has extensive experience in coordinating complex technical assistance programs, focusing particularly on strengthening the international competitiveness of SMEs,  building a conducive business environment, enhancing regional integration and south-south cooperation as well as strengthening women's economic empowerment and employability of young people. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she has an MBA in International Business Management and a Masters in Management Information System Management. Ms. Hachem Naas speaks Arabic, English, and French.









    BERNARD HOEKMAN is Professor and Director, Global Economics at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Prior positions include Director of the International Trade Department and Research Manager in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. He has been an economist in the GATT Secretariat and held visiting positions at SciencesPo, Paris. A graduate of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, he obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is a CEPR Research Fellow, where he also co-directs the Trade Policy Research Network; a Senior Associate of the Economic Research Forum for the Arab countries, Turkey and Iran; and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Action Council on Logistics and Supply Chains. Recent publications include: Supply Chains, Mega-Regionals, and Multilateralism: A Road Map for the WTO (London: CEPR Press, 2014); Structural Issues at the WTO (with Joe Francois), a special symposium issue of the World Trade Review (January 2015); and The Global Trade Slowdown: A New Normal? (London: CEPR Press, 2015).







    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.








    EMMANUEL NOUTARY is General Delegate of ANIMA Investment Network, a platform for the economic cooperation between Europe, the Middle East, and Africa which develops investment and business ecosystems favoring an attractive, sustainable, and inclusive economy. M. Noutary has more than 25 years of experience, 17 of which with international businesses. He is specialized in enterprise development, promotion of sustainable investments, innovation, and start-ups, digital as well as European policies and financing. His geographical expertise focuses on the Middle East and African markets. Through ANIMA, he leads the EU-funded TheNextSociety initiative, an open community of change makers engaged in innovation and economic development. Past positions include being Vice President of the MENA Business Angel Network (MBAN), a leading initiative to build an international network of business angels investing in the MENA markets. He was also project director of Business France between 2006-2010.




    PATRICIA AUGIER is a full professor at Aix-Marseille University (AMU) and Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE). Her fields of research are: 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. 









    Dr. Constantin Tsakas joined the CMI in 2020 as Senior Policy Analyst / Fundraising Consultant. He contributes to the Center’s fundraising & partnerships strategy. In addition, he produces policy-relevant research feeding into the CMI’s knowledge creation component. Prior to joining the World Bank, 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 dialogue and research on economic and social issues in the EuroMediterranean region. As a lecturer at SciencesPo (2013-2020), Dr. Tsakas taught at the campus of Menton on « Openness, Growth, and Crisis in the South Mediterranean countries ». His thematic interests and publications include issues related to Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Education, Women Empowerment, Climate Change, and Trade Integration. He holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from Aix-Marseille University (France).