Under the auspices of the U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO), Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment Robert D. Hormats, Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth L. Dibble, and Special Representative for Global Partnerships Kris Balderston met April 20 with Ministers from Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as with the Ambassador of Libya to the United States, on the margins of the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group.
Maghreb Ambassadors in the United States and other representatives from the U.S. Department of State joined the dialogue to highlight economic issues of mutual interest, including creating policy environments for job creation, promoting public-private partnerships, regional competitiveness, financing for new businesses, and cross-border business opportunities in the Maghreb. The dialogue also focused on the U.S. commitment to supporting Maghreb regional integration and overall economic engagement and partnership with the region, following Secretary Clinton’s recent travel to Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
One of the main objectives of NAPEO is to create a public-private network that encourages American private sector companies and organizations to increase their involvement in the Maghreb region. NAPEO represents a vehicle by which its members in the United States and in North Africa can identify, initiate, and sustain locally-driven projects that foster economic opportunity (especially for youth), regional integration, entrepreneurship, a positive business climate, and skills training. The Partnership aims to positively impact thousands of youth in the Maghreb and to build 250 cross-border partnerships in the next 5 years that increase links between the United States and the Maghreb.
NAPEO is a regional initiative within Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), a global alliance of public-private partnerships led by Coca-Cola Company CEO Muhtar Kent, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the Aspen Institute, and other prominent American business and civil society leaders committed to deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad.