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We are determined in Tunisia to make our experience succeed both politically and economically" (Youssef Chahed)

Published the:  30/01/2018

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(TAP) - "We are determined in Tunisia, to make our experience succeed both politically and economically," said Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Tuesday in Marrakesh, specifying that the government will rely on its own financial resources and on the support of its strategic partners.

Speaking at the opening of the conference "Opportunities for all: Growth, employment and inclusion in the Arab world," organised at the initiative of the International Monetary Fund, the Arab Monetary Fund (FMA), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (FADES) and the Moroccan Government, Chahed reviewed the main reforms undertaken in Tunisia in the recent years to achieve the political and economic transition.

"Tunisia has achieved its political transition by laying the foundations of a democratic country, as testified to by its ranking as the only "free" country in the Arab world (the 2018 Report on Freedom in the World, published by the American NGO Freedom House), he recalled, however admitting that Tunisia still suffers from economic difficulties because of the dysfunction of growth engines."

"In order to overcome these difficulties, Tunisia has undertaken a set of reforms as regards public finances, the improvement of the business climate, the impetus for investment, and the establishment of social programmes to improve the citizens’ well-being," the PM asserted.

Among these programmes, Chahed referred to the Social Security Law, which has just been submitted to the House of People's Representatives and whose main objectives are to ensure a stable income for needy families, social and health coverage for all inhabitants and housing for each family.

He also said that our country is endeavouring to ensure an adequate security climate, improve the business climate and increase employment opportunities for youths.

Finally, the premier underlined that "economic growth is an important criterion for measuring the development of a country, but it is no longer enough, in so far as the prosperity of a people is needed today as an indispensable pillar for social stability, and consequently the economic and political in the Arab region."

Morocco’s Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani stressed for his part, the need to work out immediate solutions and emergency programmes to meet the expectations and aspirations of Arab peoples who are in a delicate situation marked by socio-political changes. The aim is to guarantee the impulse of economic growth, while ensuring social justice to reduce "the frustration of our peoples."

Taking the floor, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde called for making the most of the region's potential, to ensure the countries’ socio-economic development, particularly through the empowerment of women and men and support of young promoters.

She recommended improving the business climate, boosting the ICT sector, facilitating the SMEs' access to finance, supporting the private sector, regularising taxation policy (expanding tax base) and upgrading the infrastructure.

For his part, AMF Director-General Abdulrahman Al Hamidy pointed out the need to diversify economies through the creation of hubs for innovation, encourage creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

"Nearly 50% of our populations are under 25 years old, it is an asset that we must exploit it, we must offer this young population the opportunity to be fulfilled by facilitating their access to funding to create their own projects, which will be one of the engines of growth."

In this regard, he specified that nearly 17 million small projects in the region are blocked due to lack of funding, recommending to empower women as only 17% of the Arab female population has access to financing, whereas the world average is around 47%.