List News    News

Tunisian-Italian partnership, targeting regions and civil society

Published the:  19/04/2011

| Share

April 19, 2011 - TAP - Tunisian officials are calling on foreign investors, notably Italians, to "dare" to achieve from now on projects in inland regions and be "closer to civil society and the local populations".
During a meeting on Tuesday in Tunis, held by the Tunisian-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CTICI) on "Tunisian-Italian partnership, present challenges and solutions", the two countries' officials estimated that the number of Italian enterprises implanted in Tunisia (between 800 and 900 firms) is very modest when taking into account the very close ties that bind the two countries.
This number could be raised to 1,500 enterprises, according to the Regional Development Minister Abderrazak Zouari who highlighted "the greater role of civil society as part of decentralized regional co-operation."
Italian promoters should be further integrated among the local population and civil society during the creation of their projects and devote, he said, "small budgets worth 20,000 dinars, for example" for such social projects as housing, training and sports for the benefit of the population, notably in the underprivileged regions.
Ms. Antonello De Riu, adviser to Italy's Embassy in Tunis, said that Tunisia is still a privileged partner for Italy, reminding that the Italian officials are identifying, in association with the Tunisian authorities, the priority sectors for possible projects in such inland regions like Gafsa, Kasserine, El Kef and Thala.
In turn, the Italian Foreign Ministry's representative Caterina Gigliuto asserted that the Italian Government is totally committed to contribute ensuring sustainability of and providing support to the Tunisian economy.
The Italian official announced, in this connection, that as part of the Italian assistance to Tunisia's development, a credit line worth 63 million Euros will be launched shortly.
Two projects were presented during the meeting: one for regional development, meant to make access easier to credit to Italian small- and medium-sized enterprises to set up joint enterprises in Tunisia; the second project, whose launching agreement will be signed on May 11-12, 2011, centers on joint management of young Tunisian graduates' emigration to Europe.
This latter initiative, of the Italian province of Abruzzo, provides for the hosting and training of young Tunisian graduates, aged between 18 and 30 years, in European regions. These youths should, after a period of time, return to Tunisia, either to start their own businesses, by means of assistance credits granted by the European regions involved in this project, or to easily find a job, preferably among joint enterprises of Tunisian and European capital.