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Caretaker Prime Minister reassures businessmen on investment in Tunisia

Published the:  09/06/2011

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June 09, 2011 - TAP - "Tunisia's future will meet expectations", Caretaker Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi reassured businessmen on the country's democratic action.
He pointed out, during a forum organised on Thursday in Tunis at the Tunisian-American Chamber of Commerce (TACC)'s initiative, that the conciliation arrived at by the various political sensitivities and civil society during Wednesday's meeting in Tunis to set the date of the forthcoming elections, is an obvious proof that understanding and solidarity among the various stakeholders are the only way to success.
The different political parties, components of civil society and citizens are called, he said, to raise awareness about the difficult economic juncture the country is living through and, in such a situation, protest actions, sit-ins and strikes could only further the harm, in view of the impediments caused to the inflow of investments.
In response to apprehensions expressed by TACC members, businessmen and investors, about fall-out of the various protest trends on attracting investors, Mr. Béji Caid Essebsi specified that the quality of Tunisia's human resources and Tunisian women's status in the political and economic spheres are the main factors reinforcing the country's chances to ensure the success of its democratic process.
Actually, businessmen and investors asserted that success of the democratic transition in Tunisia is the only guarantor for economic revitalisation, achievement of the best growth rates and bringing down unemployment.
Tunisia is today faced with a historic opportunity to show to the whole world that "Arab identity and Islam are not conflicting with democracy," said Mr. Essebsi.
He went on saying that Tunisia tried to clarify this point during its participation in the G8 Summit in Deauville, France, on May 26-27, 2011.
Besides, the interim PM underlined that the American administration, whose foreign policy has radically changed in light of the peoples' revolutions in the region, expressed its readiness to support Tunisia financially and authorise access of its products to the American market.
In turn, Mrs. Amel Bouchmaoui Hammami, TACC chairwoman, specified that the sought-after objective is to create a climate which guarantees strengthening of American investment in Tunisia.
This investment, she added, remains modest with 77 American enterprises in Tunisia employing 14,000 workers.
Speaking TAAC's action, the official pointed out that the strategy adopted lays essentially on visits paid by the two sides to implement concrete investment programmes and mobilise high added-value investments, notably in the services sector which could be exported by Tunisia.
Mr. Gordon Gray, U.S. ambassador in Tunisia, stressed his country's readiness to back up Tunisia's democratic process.
An American delegation, led by U.S. Senator John McCain, will shortly visit Tunisia to enquire about the investment opportunities offered, he specified.
Businessmen attending the meeting stressed the need to establish partnership likely to guarantee the two sides' interests.
They also called for creating partnership projects aimed to boost Tunisian skills in matters of marketing and establishing labels which will help the Tunisian products' access to American market.