European Commission - Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations

11/12/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/12/2020 06:13

Commissioner Várhelyi at Union for the Mediterranean Trade and Investment Forum

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, delivered a keynote speech at the UfM Trade and Investment Forum which is taking place virtually today under the theme 'Creating Opportunities for Jobs in Times of COVID-19'. Hosted by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, it brings together policy-makers and representatives from the private sector, civil society and academia, in order to discuss the importance and opportunities of trade and investment promotion for jobs and economic development in the Mediterranean region. Commissioner Várhelyi commented: 'The EU is the number one trading partner for most of the Southern neighbours and for the region as a whole. Nevertheless, there is so much untapped potential and the biggest one lies in closer integration between countries in the South. In the coming months we will work hard to prepare our new strategy for the Southern Neighbourhood. We will need to build on our successes, take advantage of opportunities and set priorities that can not only deliver but also demonstrate their added value on the ground. This is how we can take our partnership to the next level.' The Forum comes at a key moment ahead of the upcoming Communication on the Southern Neighbourhood where the EU will propose its vision for a renewed partnership with its Southern partners. Several panels on sustainable trade and the link between investment and job creation with participants from the European Commission Directorates-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, and Trade will also take place during the Forum.