Several ideas were identified during an event that was devoted to employment and investment in the trade sector.
The event focused particularly on obstacles that plague trade, a sector that generates more than 350,000 jobs and contributes by 11% of GDP. This sector, according to the Minister of Trade and Tourism, Mehdi Houas, performs well in spite of the direct transformation suffered by Tunisia since January 14. “Despite this climate, we have a considerable supply circuit. Similarly, we have managed to keep inflation under control: the supply and demand are in sync. Finally, the export sector continues to grow, reaching 9.8% during these nine months compared to 2010,” said the minister.
The country, however, is in front of 700,000 unemployed youth, while the number of unemployed among university graduates is estimated at 170,000. This number requires much effort and even revision of the strategies implemented in different institutions to better deal with it.
The Minister said that “the important thing for now is to stimulate the private sector which is called more than ever to intervene in the profile of qualifications in order to manage to absorb this worrying number of unemployed.”
He said the success of this approach depends on adopting such measures as the modernization of the distribution network and that of wholesale trade, improvement of logistics and promotion of franchising as a lever for modernization of trade and services.
The various stakeholders dealt with problems that impede the healthy development of trade in spite of performances achieved. These deficiencies pertain, evidently, to regulations of certain commercial sectors such as E-commerce, an area little known in Tunisia, the status of the franchise and above all investment regulations.
Indeed, the speakers took the opportunity to stress the importance of promoting the legal framework governing the sector. This is a crucial step to promote trade to a higher level, on the one hand and conquer the North African, African, Asian and other markets.
Answering these questions, Mehdi Houas, first stated that “we must go faster and look at what happens elsewhere. Integrity in specificity allows us to create our own Tunisian model, “said the minister who expressed his desire to expand commercial areas in the border areas and in coastal areas, and this despite the existence of a number of constraints that have hampered the development of trade in Tunisia.
In any case, the commercial sector has great potential of development which we are all called (private and public) to exploit. In this context, the Trade Minister said we must be all aware that the major challenge to bring the country out of its old system is to restore confidence and recreate the dynamics of wealth. This could be a lasting solution to restructure the national economy based on new technologies.
The minister said that Tunisia, with its strategic demographic position, is able to stand as a commercial hub between Europe, Asia, America and Africa.
He said the consolidation of trade with different countries, the creation of new free trade zones, encouraging export and boosting distributive trades will enhance the employment ability of the commercial sector.