Local Supply Chains – An Opportunity for Mediterranean Countries

For the managing director of Altea Packaging, Slim Zeghal, “the South suffers from a lack of stability and integration”. For political reasons, the Maghreb and the Machriq do not form a single market. This lack of homogeneity, this fragmentation, penalizes the countries concerned. Zeghal also points to “a lack of confidence in the reliability of intermediaries. This communication and marketing problem must be solved.

Jihen Boutiba, Managing Director of Business France, deplores the “major pitfalls in the countries of the South. Hence the need for structural reforms to remove the many barriers faced by business creators. Reforms are in place, but they are rarely applied on the ground.

Investments on both shores of the Mediterranean can go both ways. Michel Banza, North Africa Director of Business France, notes “a new but pronounced trend which sees entrepreneurs from the southern shore also settling in Europe. As confirmed by Walid Mzoughi, founder of the start-up Winshot: “For us, opening a branch in Marseille was an obvious response to us, a need for hyper-growth and to conquer the Moroccan market. It was a matter of survival, especially because of the overly complicated regulations that bothered us in Tunisia.

North-south, south-north, east-west, west-east, has the time for regionalization come? Today, the world’s maritime fleet operates at 99% of its capacity. This record figure saw load factors explode. According to the managing director of CMA CGM Agencies France Sami Fouadh, “These should not fall before 2023.” Fouudh adds: “China remains the factory of the world. Our customers are undecided. They look to Turkey and Egypt. But any change in strategy remains marginal for the moment.

Relocations are, however, underway. Electrosteel plans to build a decarbonated production unit for ductile iron pipes in Arles, an investment of €60 million. “For the moment, manufacturing is done in India,” explains Philippe Neri, export sales manager. “The impact of transport on the cost price has increased from 5% to 35% in a few months, calling into question our competitiveness.

The Mediterranean has a limited launch window. He must be careful not to miss it.