Barcelona — The Mediterranean region has a great potential to achieve a greater degree of maritime trade integration between both shores, which is critical to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) said on the occasion of the celebration of World Maritime Day under the theme "Connecting Ships, Ports and People".
"The Mediterranean is a sea that brings people together and a highway for trade and exchanges. Yet, approximately 90% of the total maritime freight traffic in the Mediterranean is among Northern ports. In stark contrast, the volume of maritime freight traffic between Southern/Eastern and Northern Mediterranean ports accounts for only 7%. Meanwhile, maritime freight traffic among Southern/Eastern Mediterranean ports stands at only 1%," the source noted in a statement.
Projects with tangible regional impact such as LOGISMED-TA, Motorway of the Sea (MoS) and OPTIMED, regional policy dialogue platforms, such as the upcoming First UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity, and political fora and ministerial meetings held with the active involvement of the 43 UfM Member States constitute a unique methodology that brought fresh momentum to regional cooperation for integration, stability and human development in the Mediterranean, it added.
"The UfM joins forces with the international community to advance the maritime sector by creating conditions for regional dialogue and cooperation on projects and initiatives that have a regional impact in the Mediterranean. More integrated and efficient maritime transport, trade and logistics are major drivers for job creation, sustainable development and regional stability", said Ihab Fahmy, UfM Deputy Secretary General for Transport and Urban Development.
In the framework of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the new UfM action-oriented Roadmap for enhanced regional cooperation, the UfM is stepping up its partnership with all global, regional and sub-regional initiatives and organisations to develop a comprehensive strategy on land and maritime transport and logistics connectivity for the Mediterranean, focusing in particular on connecting its networks with funding instruments and involving the private sector.