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Textile/clothing: signing of PPP Partnership Sectoral Charter is part of new economic vision (Chahed)

Published the:  21/02/2019

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(TAP) - The sectoral charter for public-private partnership (PPP) in the textile and clothing sector for the period 2019/2023 is part of Tunisia's new economic vision, stressed Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

This charter, signed on Thursday in Tunis, by Minister of Industry and SMEs Slim Feriani and President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) Samir Majoul, as well as the President of the Tunisian Textile and Clothing Federation Hosni Boufadane, will give a new boost to the textile sector which employs more than 160 thousand people, Chahed said.

He added that under this agreement, the government will pledge to strengthen governance of the sector, develop training and endeavour to improve the investment climate and infrastructure.

The private sector will commit itself to creating nearly 50 thousand jobs through the implementation of 10 mega structural projects in the sector by 2023, he said.

In the same context, Chahed expressed the wish to see the sector regain its place on the European market (Tunisia ranked 5th with a value of 4 billion euros), after a difficult period characterised by the decline in Tunisian exports.

In 2018, the Prime Minister reminds again, the sector recorded a remarkable recovery with exports reaching 7,400 million dinars.

Chahed referred to the measures taken, at a small cabinet meeting held in June 2017, in favour of the textile and clothing sector, noting that the various actors operating in the sector have been able to invest more, increase their exports and create jobs.

The government is working to sign similar charters in several sectors, such as the pharmaceutical, spare parts and agri-food industries.

For his part, Industry Minister Slim Feriani noted that this charter is part of the plan to revive the textile/clothing sector, drawn up by the Economic Analysis Council, specifying that this plan is based on 6 axes relating to strategy, governance, integration, marketing, training, infrastructure and the business climate.

He stressed that the objective is to create 50,000 additional jobs by 2023, to increase exports in the sector from €2.4 billion to €4 billion, i.e. a growth ranging from 5% to 6% between 2019 and 2020 and 13% by 2023.

The objective also includes recovering the country's position among the top 5 exporters of textile products to the European Union, with a share of 4%, i.e. the level recorded in 2008, against 2.5% currently.

The plan aims to improve the integration rate in the sector from 10% in 2018 to 35%, with a view to better industrialising local raw materials and improving the sector's coverage rate from 126% in 2018 to 146% in 2023.

In turn, UTICA President Samir Majoul stressed that this charter, which is a "success", aims to revive the sector, which has been facing difficulties for several years.

Regarding the decision taken by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) to increase the key interest rate, Majoul indicated that UTICA is seeking solutions, particularly for companies facing financing problems.

President of the Tunisian Textile and Clothing Federation, Hosni Boufadan, noted that the charter is a participatory process, adding that all the decisions of the 2017 cabinet meeting have been implemented, referring to the rescheduling of debts with the National Social Security Fund and the tax authorities.