Cisco trusts Tunisia, that is what emerges from the various speeches and statements by U.S networking company executives. who attended the opening ceremony of the Cisco office in Tunis. One of them, Anthony Vonsee, Director General for North Africa and the Levant granted us the following interview:
– What are the motivations that led Cisco to choose Tunisia to open this office that reaches out across the region where however, other countries may stand up to Tunisia in ICT?
-There are two reasons. First, proximity to Europe which gives Tunisia an outstanding position. Secondly, the Tunisian government developed a remarkable approach with regard to information technology and communication. And this provides many opportunities for a company like Cisco which views this choice as an excellent opportunity to do business in Tunisia. So that all conditions and ingredients are brought together to make it so.
I would add that this choice fits in perfectly with our strategy of reducing the digital divide and in addition, it allows us to contribute to the implementation of major projects in Tunisia and those which will be launched, by providing Cisco products.
-What was the process of maturation of your decision to be present in Tunisia?
– It dates back to four or five years. But in the meantime “Cisco Expo” was held in Tunisia.
But, between this event and the opening of Cisco office in Tunisia, the international economic crisis broke out. Did that changed the situation?
– I may be able to say that the opening of the Cisco office in Tunis is a confirmation of the confidence that Cisco puts in Tunisia. In other words, if we did not trust this country we would not open an office. This is again a sign of confidence in this market as much as in North Africa.
-Precisely , do you think that Tunisia is a gateway to other markets, particularly in Africa, the Arab world, and the Mediterranean …
– Tunisia is a dynamic market. Its government has realized and understood that the development of information technology and communication is essential for the future of the country and that ICTs are part of the determinants of economic growth.
Other countries in the region have ideas about information technology and communication, but do not put them out as efficiently as Tunisia is doing.
At Cisco, we see who has good ideas, but above all who best puts them into practice.
– Did you make it in the light of a benchmarking involving countries having similar potential?
-Naturally, our relevant departments got down to that job.; We also drew on other sources, including the World Bank and its Report on Doing Business, the business environment, legal framework, the integration of ICT in enterprises. Our Research Department has considered all the parameters related to opening an office in Tunis. It was logical for Cisco to decide to settle in Tunisia.
-What is the segment of the Tunisian market in which you are most interested and what types of companies you are targeting ?
-Cisco is interested in all sectors, whether public or private, and each has its own special features. Cisco helps companies better differentiate, to enhance their competitiveness, increase the productivity of their employees and their infrastructure management.
We help them communicate better between the different categories of employees to convey the right information. In short, Cisco helps companies build up and export better and more.
-Does Tunisia’s industrial and services fabric match Cisco offer?
– There is already a feedback. Renowned companies have adopted the Cisco technology, and they have already felt the impact of this investment, especially the private sector that has checked return on investment.
For example, hospitals and private clinics checked how Cisco solutions have helped doctors cut corners and save up.