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08/11/2017 - 18:47hs

Tunisia holds forum to bring in investment

The biennially-held Tunisia Investment Forum will take place on Thursday and Friday in Tunis, with 1,200 people from 30-plus countries expected to participate. The Arab Chamber will be there.

São Paulo – On Thursday (9) and Friday (10), Tunis will host the Tunisia Investment Forum, held every two years in a bid to bring investments into the Arab country. This year’s edition will be themed “A new Tunisia, a new economic vision.” A total of 1,200 investors, executives, government officials and delegates from international institutions from over 30 countries will attend.

“We are expecting to attract new foreign investors, including our Brazilian friends, through the active participation of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in this edition. The Chamber will be our partner in organizing a trip of Brazilian executives to Tunisia, possibly in April 2018,” Tunisian ambassador in Brasília Mohamed Hédi Soltani told ANBA via email.

The Arab Chamber will be represented by its International Business executive Fernanda Baltazar. “The goal is to get government officials in touch with players from several private sector niches,” she said.

According to the ambassador, discussions in the forum will revolve around for major themes: “Tunisia 2020: promising outlook,” “Tunisia’s position in global value chains,” “Look toward Africa, positioning Tunisia as a regional hub,” and “Regional development and corporate social responsibility.”

Soltani also said that workshops will be held on the digital economy, electronics and organic agriculture, as well as B2B meetings for investors, young entrepreneurs and financial institutions. Another new feature this year will be the emphasis placed on Africa, the ambassador asserted.

According to Soltani, the program will include information on Tunisia’s new investment laws, which include a new Investment Code, a law on public-private partnerships, a law on renewable energy and the country’s 2016-2020 strategic plan.

In addition to attending the event, the Arab Chamber executive will get in touch with Tunisian enterprises, industry-specific organizations and government entities to plan out actions designed to fuel Brazil-Tunisia trade and investment. The embassy of Brazil in Tunis is also expected to attend.

“I invite our Brazilian friends to get ready for the next edition of the Forum on June 21 and 22, 2019,” the ambassador said.

The Tunisia Investment Forum has become particularly relevant in the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011 – known as the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia’s case – which saw a popular uprising overthrow Zine El Abdine Ben Ali’s two-plus decade rule.

Despite the political and economic instability that ensued, Tunisia is the only Arab Spring country to remain steadily on track in its transition to democracy. Since then, new rulers and members of parliament have been elected in more than one occasion and a new constitution was passed, as were individual laws.

Nonetheless, the country struggles with high unemployment, especially among young people. It also relies on external financing, more so after its tourism industry took a hit from 2015 terrorist attacks in Tunis and Sousse. Tourism is one of the primary revenue sources for the country.

Therefore, the overhaul of investment laws, the improvement of the business environment, and the drive to bring in foreign investors are the primary drivers in pushing the economy forward.

For more on the forum go to www.tunisiainvestmentforum.tn

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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