U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release May 21, 2012
Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition
Development of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises
G-8 Leaders met today at Camp David to carry forward the work of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition, which was launched last year as a long-term, global partnership to respond to the historic changes in some of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. One year ago, the G-8 launched the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition to support the democratic transition and to strengthen governance, foster economic and social inclusion, create jobs, support private sector-led growth, and advance regional and global integration. Progress towards these objectives is more important than ever. The Partnership intends to deepen its focus on country-level engagement and negotiated plans for the development of small and medium sized enterprises.
G-8 members, regional partner countries, and transition countries will review legal, regulatory, and administrative systems and practices and identify positive policy environments for the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as SMEs are the key drivers to create jobs and generate local revenue and taxes.
· Regional partners will consider opportunities to leverage the $2 billion regional SME fund, administered by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFSED), for the benefit of SME growth in the transition countries.
· In coordination with international institutions, such as the IMF and multilateral development banks, G-8 member countries will review areas for offering assistance to transition countries in the field of SME development.
· We agreed on the importance of reducing barriers to trade within the region and with G-8 countries, and the need to better utilize and maximize the benefits of existing arrangements between countries in the region and the G-8 including through trade facilitation, upgrading trade infrastructure, adopting good regulatory practices and enhancing competitiveness of manufacturing and services of Partnership countries.
· On a bilateral basis, we have been actively analyzing new ways to boost trade and investment. We pledge to intensify these efforts and also to work collectively to identify new opportunities for increasing regional competitiveness. Our work is intended to build upon, not replace, existing obligations and initiatives, such as the Agadir agreement, GAFTA, other bilateral trade and investment agreements and frameworks, and our mutual efforts in support of a strong World Trade Organization.
· The coordination platform established by the international financial institutions will undertake a comprehensive study on how to provide the best conditions and support for SMEs to generate sustainable jobs. This study will lead to clear policy recommendations that will inform and guide concrete actions by Partnership and donor countries in the area of SME development.
· For their part, the G-8 and regional partners will work with Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to support openness in transitioning countries, (including through promoting opportunities for international investment, and providing technical and other assistance to promote the ability of these nations to take advantage of those opportunities.
· G-8 members will encourage business associations in their respective countries to establish partnerships with counterparts in transitioning countries and to assist with capacity building activities to enhance product development and export potential.
# # #
 Countries in the Partnership currently include the five Partnership countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, and Libya), the G-8, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey. The International Financial
Institutions include the African Development Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab
Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the
Islamic Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the OPEC
Fund for International Development, and the World Bank. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development is also a Partnership member.