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Encouragement of investment is essential point of governmental programme (Chahed)

Published the:  08/04/2017

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"The encouragement of investment is the essential point of the governmental programme to address the difficult economic situation," said Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Saturday.

Taking the floor at a press conference to introduce the new investment law and its implementing texts, Chahed estimated that "investment is growth and growth is employment."

It is worth pointing out that speeding up the approval of the Investment Law (entered into force on 1 April 2017) was one of the first decisions taken by his government.

The new version of this law is based notably on the governance of investment and the principle of freedom to invest.

However, Chahed acknowledged the existence of some shortcomings in this new text, still important in the current situation to reboot investment.

Boosting investment is not limited to the adoption of legislation texts and their implementing decrees, he said, adding that "investment is above all a policy and an approach to adopt."

In his speech, the PM laid emphasis on the importance of regaining confidence in our capabilities, calling for putting an end to all attempts to sow doubt in the capacities of the state and demonise investors.

On this occasion, Chahed called on MPs to speed up the adoption of the economic emergency bill as soon as possible.

All the obstacles hindering the achievement of projects and investment should be overcome, said the premier, recalling that the current steps require at least 2 years after the declaration of the investment intention.

For Chahed, his government "is not a caretaker government," but rather "a government of reform," announcing in this regard, that in the next few days his government will present a detailed timetable of the reforms to be launched in 2017.

These reforms focus mainly on modernising the administration, revising administrative procedures in order to simplify them.

The Tunisian administration should enter the digital era to provide fast services, to serve the interests of the citizen and investors and the growth of the national economy, he underlined.

Reforms also regard the economy's financing system, notably, some sectors such as agriculture, handicrafts and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Prime Minister spoke about the issue of public banks which should play their full role as a financial arm of the State. State-owned banks must provide financing for enterprises and sectors that face real difficulties in obtaining loans from private banks, he said.

Aside from its participation in the capital of public banks (BNA, STB and BH), the State is no longer able to participate in the capital of several banks, Chahed assured.

In another connection, the PM pointed out the reforms that the government intends to implement for the benefit of public enterprises, indicating that the majority of these economic enterprises are going through a difficult financial situation.

"The government is working to develop a comprehensive programme to ensure the restructuring of State-owned enterprises in order to guarantee social rights and to organise these enterprises so that they can guarantee a positive financial return," Chahed said.

He also reminded that the government had started to develop the reform of the social security system which will be "a national gain that should be preserved and developed in order to ensure its sustainability for the future generations.

It was agreed with the social partners to complete negotiations on the reform issue before the end of June 2017, Chahed specified.

The PM extended a message of confidence and support to investors, pointing out that the government's programme is based on supporting Tunisian enterprises and guaranteeing all the necessary conditions for their success, both in Tunisia and abroad.