On June 27, MAGHREB was the subject of the last CEMA conference before the summer break, preceding a "Summer Lunch" at the Automobile Club de Monaco.
Mr. Zyad LIMAM, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Afrique Magazine, introduced the conference with an overview of the Maghreb, focusing on Morocco's success story, Algeria's energy resources and Tunisia's current difficulties.
Mr. Lotfi MAKTOUF, a businessman, member of the New York Bar and former senior advisor to the IMF, then spoke of the lack of a Maghreb identity, and the fragmentation caused by the three countries' very different characteristics. "From a global perspective, there is still not enough interest in Africa. Monegasque entrepreneurs can invest in the Maghreb by studying the market, then identifying product or service needs. It's a pragmatic approach that has proved its worth. The best time to invest is always now, when the investment meets a need".
Monegasque entrepreneurs are particularly well placed in fields related to ecology, of which H.S.H. Prince Albert II is an ardent defender. Laboratory projects focusing on specific ecological aspects, such as the resistance of certain plants to desertification, are currently under study. AI-related fields are also very promising.
The Maghreb's trading partners are mainly infrastructure providers. Agricultural partnerships are important, as are those in vehicle manufacturing (Renault plants in Morocco, Peugeot plants in Tunisia and sub-Saharan Africa). "We need a strategic framework to intensify trade with Europe. We need to find an insurance mechanism for private companies wishing to set up in the Maghreb, guaranteed by political will," explains Zyad LIMAM. "The immigration problem won't be solved without this will. The brain drain is a waste of energy for everyone. We need to allow investments over a longer period of time, with different mechanisms."
Mr Justin HIGHMAN (MEB), Mr Ziad LIMAN, Ms Johanna HOUDROUGE (VP CEMA), Mr Lotfi MAKTOUF, Mr Fréderic GEERTS (President CEMA), Mr Denis RUYANT (VP CEMA), Mr Jean-Marc PORCEDDU (Treasurer CEMA).