On February 29-March 2, 2012 GMF held the sixth meeting of the Mediterranean Strategy Group in Naples, Italy, focusing on "The Future of Mediterranean Finance". The meeting was organized in cooperation with Studi e Ricerche Mezzorgiorno (SRM), Intesa San Paolo Group, the Italian Institute of International Affairs (IAI) and in partnership with the Compagnia di San Paolo, ENEL, OCP Foundation, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Luso-American Foundation. The conference brought together a select group of some sixty participants from the banking sector, international financial institutions, public policy institutions, and government. Participants came from the U.S., the EU, Turkey, the Gulf, and the MENA region to discuss the role that finance will play in the economic development of the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of the recent uprisings, with a particular focus on the countries in political transition.
The discussion centered on five main themes: the interdependencies between the North and South of the Mediterranean and the impact of the European economic crisis on the Middle East and North Africa; the potential and challenges of the local financial sector in North Africa and the Middle East; the role of sovereign wealth funds and external players, especially from the Gulf, in financial and economic developments in the MENA region; the role of international financial institutions such in fostering development and growth in the region; and transatlantic stakes and strategies in the evolution of Mediterranean finance.