UNIDO promotes digitalization and special economic zones during 2022 EU-Africa Business Summit

The fifth edition of the EU-Africa Business Summit, which was organized by the European Business Summits (EBS) and which took place held in Brussels, provided for high-level panel discussions among around 100 physical guests and over 3,000 online participants who discussed the future of economic relations between the European Union (EU) and Africa.

“In a context of increasing challenges, digital is key for the resilience of businesses”, said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director for Digitalization, Technology and Agri-business of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). “At the same time, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have the ability to bring together public and private finance to create resilient ecosystems as they mobilize investments while creating jobs”.

In addition to an interview with news media Euronews, the UNIDO Managing Director also contributed to the roundtable discussion on “Investment climate and trade within EU-Africa relations”, which was co-hosted by David Clarnival, Acting Minister of Foreign Trade of Belgium. Other roundtable participants included Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana; Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, Vice President of the African development Bank; and Soha Gendi, Assistant Foreign Minister for African Organizations of Egypt.

The Summit also allowed for strategic discussions towards increasing international cooperation, including with Janusz Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture; Arnaud Thysen, Director of the European Business Summits; and Cécile Billaux, Head of Unit, Micro-economic analysis, investment climate and private sector & employment, DG INTPA.

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