The MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme organised, on 20 and 21 September 2018 in Madrid, an event for the launch of the MENA-OECD Business Advisory Board (BAB), which will serve as a dedicated regional platform for public-private dialogue. The aim of this Board is to mobilise leading business associations, chambers of commerce and other private sector networks, as well as regional organisations, academic and research institutions, in an effort to maximise the relevance and impact of public-private dialogue across the region. The Business Advisory Board (BAB) is co-chaired by the Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organisation (CEOE) and the Tunisian Union for Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA).
During this meeting, in which the CNEA Secretariat took part alongside 200 representatives of governments and employers' organizations from the MENA region and the OECD, the participants discussed several topics related to public private dialogue and its role in supporting and strengthening economic policies, as well as issues relating to the integration of young people and women as well as the promotion of gender equality in corporate governance bodies. Participants also stressed the importance of strengthening the links between corporate organizations in the MENA region, which will contribute to removing existing obstacles and creating business opportunities.
For their part, OECD experts commended the achievements and efforts made by the CNEA for improving the business environment in Morocco, which acts as a regional platform for public-private dialogue from its inception in 2010, including its role in improving Morocco's ranking in the World Bank's Doing Business report.
The launch of the MENA-OECD Business Advisory Board will be accompanied by the creation of thematic working groups in coordination with the MENA-OECD Competitiveness Programme, the setting up of a platform for young entrepreneurs and the organisation of peer learning activities, the expansion of the network to other relevant organisations, the strengthening of analytical work and the planning for the next annual regional event at the same time as the MENA-OECD Ministerial Conference scheduled for Spring 2019.