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Tunisia returns to the international economic scene

Tunisia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khemaies Jhinaoui, visited Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid on January 15 for a business meeting. Attendance by a large group of Spanish companies made clear the growing interest in a Tunisian market which is going quite well.

January 15, 2019
M. Khemaies Jhinaoui, Tunisia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is in Madrid and announced last Tuesday that “Tunisia is back to business” at a meeting with Spanish companies organized by Casa Árabe, with the cooperation of the Club of Spanish Exporters and Investors, and the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the occasion of the minister’s visit to Madrid.

During the meeting, the minister emphasized that, through dialogue and commitment, they have managed to transform the challenges of the transition into a constructive process in which the budding Tunisian democracy is maturing and the democratic values achieved are now irreversible.

Along these lines, he pointed out that all forces are now aimed at building a new, more inclusive economic model founded upon a competitive private sector that can become the driving force for growth and employment, orienting the economy towards high value-added processes and sectors, with technology and talent. The minister described the plan of reforms promoted by the government to fix the public finance system, improve economic growth, make it more inclusive and promote the country’s competitiveness. Among these measures are new laws on public and private contracts, investment, entrepreneurship, anti-corruption, regulation of the banking and tax systems and the creation of a mechanism to support investments in infrastructures, industry, energy, new technologies and the green economy.

The attendance by numerous Spanish companies and associations with business or interests in the Tunisian market made clear the strong alliance between the two countries and the increasing interesting in Tunisia. Thanks to the economic recovery of its international markets and certain key sectors for the country, such as tourism, the manufacturing industry and ecological agriculture, Tunisia hopes to achieve a higher growth rate in the upcoming years, with a forecasted 3.5% increase in GDP for 2019-20. The improvements in safety and the business environment, as well as a series of structural reforms introduced since 2015, are making it easier for investments to return, both foreign and domestic, as the various ministry representatives were able to show during the meeting. It is hoped that all of this will contribute to making the Tunisian economy take off. During the event, it was particularly noted that the renewable energies sector has made great strides, with the launch of the Tunisian Strategy for Renewable Energies, the goal of which is to get 30% of the energy consumed by the country to come from such sources by 2030. This will mean installing an additional 4.7 GW of clean energy production. To achieve this, in 2018 five photovoltaic solar energy projects were opened up for international tenders in different parts of the country. The preliminary qualifiers were announced in November, and the construction of a giant 1.7 GW solar complex has been planned in the region of Remada, in the Tunisian Sahara, in the southern part of the country. It is expected to have a major impact on the region’s development, along with other development projects in agriculture, infrastructure and services in the area.
Tunisia returns to the international economic scene