Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Knowledge economy key to future growth in the Mediterranean

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Monday, October 15th 2012 à 17:50 | Read 312 times

An emphasis on training and encouraging the emergence of business clusters to produce value-added: these are the challenges to be addressed by countries in the Mediterranean if they wish to remain in the race in the face of the emergence of competitors from Asia.

The agricultural sector is the breeding ground for poverty and illiteracy (Photo: Europa)
The agricultural sector is the breeding ground for poverty and illiteracy (Photo: Europa)
Countries in the Mediterranean basin must act not to counter the blow delivered by the recent crisis, but rather to protect themselves from "growing competition from China and the emergence of India, the potential impact of which will be greater for Mediterranean economies", predicts Nicolas Péridy, a member of the Economics Laboratory Applied to Development  (LEAD) and coordinator of the report "Crises and methods of emerging from crises in FEMIP partner countries" by Femise.

According to Mr Péridy, there is no doubt about this: "Levels of knowledge must increase in order to produce goods with high value-added. Mediterranean countries must turn towards the knowledge economy."

The move from a subcontractor culture to co-contracting culture

Without upgrading to international standards, it will be difficult for them to access markets: no certification will mean no exports. From the explosion in the number of ISO-certified companies, it is clear that countries in the Mediterranean have understood this: numbering 10 in 1995, there are now 13,000 such companies. 

What will this involve? Moving from a subcontractor culture to a co-contracting culture as part of a value chain. Nicolas Péridy also recommends greater openness in European agriculture markets, where the breeding grounds of poverty and illiteracy are found. “It would be desirable for Mediterranean countries to have greater access to European markets and that, in return, they commit to liberalising their service sectors”, he says.

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