Financial Inclusion in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries

Rym Ayadi, Sandra Challita, Mais Sha’ban

Financial inclusion (FI) has been high on the agenda of international institutions, regulators and policymakers for a number of years and remains a priority. This is mainly due to its well documented positive impact in fostering sustainable social and economic development. However, developing economies, particularly countries in the South and East Mediterranean, are still lagging behind in terms of FI, both on individual and business levels. Additionally, the region exhibits a significant gender gap, urban-rural gap, and a low level of access to financial services for young people.

This study provides an in-depth analysis of the state of FI in five countries in the South and East Mediterranean: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. The analysis is based on a survey conducted by the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES) researchers using interviews, literature research and secondary data. The main aim is to investigate the salient features of FI, the barriers to achieving FI, and the regulatory framework and policies used to promote FI in each country.

The research team is led by Prof. Rym Ayadi, President, EMEA and Director, EMNES. It includes Sandra Challita, research fellow , EMEA and researcher, EMNES and Mais Shaban research fellow at EMEA and EMNES. Country contributions were provided from EMNES researchers: Alia El Mahdi, Taghreed Hassouba, Egypt, Nooh Alshyab, Serena Sandri, Dima Daradkeh, Jordan , Sandra Challita, Lebanon, Najat El Mekkaoui, Yeganeh Forouheshfar, Sara Loukili, Morocco, Olfa Benouda, Soumaya Ben Khelifa, Dorra Hmaied, Rania Makni, Tunisia

The Euro-Mediterranean Blue Transition Scenario 2050

Ioannis Charalampidis, Panagiotis Karkatsoulis, Leonidas Paroussos

The study aims to provide a quantified projection of the Blue Transition scenario (the study published by EMEA in 2020) using a CGE (computable general equilibrium) model (GEM-E3-MENA) that is calibrated to the latest available data. The model-based analysis aims at providing a consistent projection of the energy and economic systems for the Euro-Mediterranean (EU-MED) countries within the Blue Transition narrative.

The analysis takes into account the capacity constraints and the comparative advantages for growth of each country. The key contribution of the model, used for this study, lies in its capacity to combine the different set of assumptions regarding: technical progress; population growth; bilateral trade; development of skilled labour; climate-change and energy related policies, in an integrated manner that ensures the consistency of the socio-economic projection. An important result of the analysis is the decomposition of growth into specific factors and sectors for each country.

About the Authors: Ioannis Charalampidis (Researcher), Panagiotis Karkatsoulis (Researcher) and Leonidas Paroussos (Managing Director) at E3MLab, Associate member of EMNES. The study is reviewed by Prof. Rym Ayadi President of EMEA and Director of EMNES and Carlo Sessa is Member of the Executive Board of EMEA and Associate Member of EMNES.

Assessing the role of Credit Guarantee Schemes in the Southern Mediterranean – Pre and During Covid-19

Ayadi Rym, Shaban Mais

Amidst the global health crisis, this new study updates the study of Ayadi and Gadi (2013) and extends the knowledge on credit guarantee schemes (CGS) in the South Mediterranean, whilst providing a preliminary assessment on the role of CGS – during and post COVID-19, based on a survey and various stakeholder engagement sessions conducted in 2020.

The study is led and co-authored by Prof. Rym Ayadi, President of EMEA and Director of EMNES and Mais Shaban, Research Fellow at EMEA and Fellow of EMNES.

The authors would like to thank all members the Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network (EMGN) for responding to the survey and accepting to provide their inputs about the role of the CGS during COVID-19. Acknowledgement to EMEA copy-editor Rob Atree for proof-reading and IT and AI officer Nektar Baziotis for design and formatting. Valuable comments by EMGN members are acknowledged. The study is under EMGN research and development pillar led by EMEA.

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