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Tunisia: 90 thousand more jobs threatened

The number of employees averaged 3,404.5 thousand in the second quarter of 2020, against 3,565.5 thousand in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 161 thousand.

This is the latest figure from the INS on the unemployment rate in Tunisia, which is now 18%.

According to the same source, this decline in the number of employed is broken down according to the situation in the profession as follows: 131.8 thousand for employees, 12 thousand for the self-employed and 17.2 thousand for family helpers.

However, it would seem that this is not the end. More than 90 thousand jobs are threatened, due to the health crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

This was said the Director General of the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII), Omar Bouzouada, at the seminar to launch work of formulating post-COVID roadmaps for the benefit of very small and medium enterprises (VSMEs) Thursday.

Bouzouada stressed the imperative to review strategies and launch new measures to save the VSMEs and help revive the country’s economy, and this, within the framework of a participatory approach that involves all stakeholders, including government departments and international partners.

“It is within this framework that “MED MSMEs”, which aims to contribute to the regional integration of the Southern Mediterranean, through the support of development policies for the development of MSMEs on the southern shore, operating in different sectors of activities,” he noted.

He recalled that this program, funded by the European Union (EU) over a period of four years (2018-2022), promotes the exchange of international best practices to inspire the formulation and implementation of policies and integrated instruments supporting the development of MSMEs.

Rethinking measures to rescue VSMEs

In the same context, Paolo Castrataro, senior expert of MED MSMEs, said that this program, which benefits 8 countries of the southern Mediterranean and that will mobilize an overall funding of €5 million does not directly target companies, but rather, institutions in charge of development policy and intermediary bodies, namely chambers of commerce.

He indicated, moreover, that this seminar will be an opportunity for the launching of two working groups dedicated to the access of the VSMEs to financing and the internationalization of these companies.

Wajdi Neffati, Director of International Cooperation at APII and national coordinator of the program, said that these two working groups will develop roadmaps for the next two years, identifying the means and measures to be mobilized to improve these two aspects (financing and internationalization of VSMEs), and this, taking into account the priorities of the country during this period.

It should be noted that the first group will work, mainly, to develop alternative means of financing (such as crowdfunding …) that will be more innovative and better adapted to the needs of small promoters and start-ups.

As for the second group, it will define the means to help VSMEs capture new markets, in order to boost the country’s exports.

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