"Gearing Up for Growth" Tunisian Government's International Roadshow Starting Today in Washington, D.C.

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In anticipation of the economic conference “Tunisia 2020”, which will take place November 29-30, 2016 in Tunis, the Tunisian government is embarking on an international roadshow to promote the National Development Plan, its structuring projects, its opportunities, and its accelerated timetable for reforms implementation.

Tunisia 2020

In anticipation of the economic conference “Tunisia 2020”, which will take place November 29-30, 2016 in Tunis, the Tunisian government is embarking on an international roadshow to promote the National Development Plan, its structuring projects, its opportunities, and its accelerated timetable for reforms implementation.

Mr. Mohamed Fadhel Abdelkefi, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation of the Tunisian Republic, will mark his first stop on October 7, in Washington, D.C., in parallel to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings, before heading to Europe.

“Gearing Up for Growth”

The new Tunisian Government, in place since August 29, 2016, is focusing on taking all the necessary measures to accelerate the pace of reforms aimed at fostering private investment. As of today, in less than one month:

  • The “Public Private Partnership Law” was enacted;
  • The long-awaited “Investment Code” has been adopted, facilitating access to the Tunisian market and streamlining administrative procedures for foreign and local investors;
  • The “Economic Emergency Law” is now ready and is under discussion at the Parliament: it sets a special legal framework for the private operators who will invest in the country within the next three years, benefiting from fast-track procedures, as well as social and fiscal incentives;
  • Several other major reforms have already been carried out so as to improve the business environment: the banking system has been reviewed, a more investor-friendly tax system and the renewable energy law have been introduced, and a new anti-trust bill has been enacted.

Gearing up on reforms and reinforced in its institutional stability, the Tunisian Government launches its international roadshow in Washington, D.C.: Mr. Mohamed Fadhel Abdelkefi, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation of the Republic of Tunisia, will present to U.S. investors the 2016-2020 National Development Plan and its related opportunities for both the public and private sectors, in anticipation of the economic conference “Tunisia 2020”, which is to gather November 29-30 in Tunis with 1,500 high level participants from 70 countries, including numerous confirmed Heads of States.

Outstanding opportunities for both public and private sectors

The Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation has listed around one hundred infrastructure projects that are required to complete the National Development Plan 2016-2020. Besides the flagship public projects, aimed at reducing regional disparities (the Regional Development Program, $1.25 billion) and infrastructures (highways and railways, e-education and e-health programs), some other projects carried out by the State or state-owned companies will be funded through public-private partnerships, in the framework of a new public-private partnership regulation. Public-private funding applies, for example, to the Sfax metro and the Enfidha deep-water port, as well as the capacity-augmentation of the Radès port or the Digital Tunisia 2020 project.

There are also countless opportunities for national and multinational businesses, SMEs and large corporations, as well as for investors, covering all industries, especially the ones composing the core of the Tunisian economic growth (aircraft and automobile components, textiles, tourism, health) and also other expanding sectors (education, the web economy).

Among U.S. investors, General Electric is presently looking into an expansion of its activities in Tunisia, through a direct investment in the healthcare sector. An important delegation of the company's executives will take part in the “Tunisia 2020” Conference, in order to further discuss this project with the Tunisian authorities and business community.

The Minister declared: "We consider foreign direct investment vital to achieve our economic recovery. The Tunisian government has already proven its will to gear up on reforms and will stay committed to securing and facilitating our foreign partners' assets. It is the right time to invest.”

Global lenders’ support

Firmly committed to supporting Tunisia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted Tunisia, in May 2016, a four-year, $2.8 billion loan to fund the launch of the social and economic reforms. Regarding the World Bank, it agreed on a five-year, $5 billion support program last March. The African Development Bank (ADB) recently granted a $299 million loan to fund a program to help modernize financial services, which is one of the five-year plan's core projects.

Tunisia is undergoing a pivotal period in its history, as it has successfully conducted its democratic transition, acknowledged worldwide through the awarding of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. The country is now embarking on a profound transformation phase of its economy to adopt an efficient, inclusive and sustainable development model, in order to address economic and social expectations and further reinforce the democratic regime.

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Tunisia today is backed by great strengths and a political will to boost its economy

Governance focused on synthesis and transition between generations

The new government led by Youssef Chahed is a national union government, in which six political parties are represented. The Head of Government, whose young age (41) is acknowledged as proof of dynamism and renewal, has made the choice of a true openness, since most ministers are under 50 and eight women have been appointed (out of 40 in total).

The Minister Fadhel Abdelkefi has been appointed Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation in the new Youssef Chahed government. Previously, he was Managing Director of Tunisie Valeurs, stock market intermediary, and used to preside on the Tunis Stock Market Advisory Board.

Outstanding strengths

Tunisia is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean between Europe and Africa, and in the heart of North Africa. In addition, Tunisia has a large middle class, which is the biggest in Africa. Trading with many Arab and African countries under special deals and with the EU under a free-trade treaty since 1995, the country is an open international market of nearly 800 million consumers. Tunisia stands out due to its population: among the highest literacy rates in Africa, and a young, gender-mixed, well-educated and skilled workforce.

More information: http://www.tunisia2020.com / @Tunisia_2020

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