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Tunisia, a front-rank technology platform in the Euromed area

The Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA-Tunisia) under the patronage of the  Ministry of Development and International Cooperation organizes the 12th edition of the Carthage Investment Forum, on the 3rd and 4th of June 2010, in Tunis.

The Carthage Investment Forum, a reference event in the Mediterranean area dedicated to FDI, l highlights through a rich program the strengths of the Tunisian Site and the opportunities it provides at a time when uncertainties in the global economy make international investors more demanding with respect to their potential locations.

The outbreak of the global crisis in late 2008 showed the capacity of Tunisia to face external shocks as well as its willingness to maintain and boost investment, with a specific attention to foreign investment already established in Tunisia. Thus various governmental measures contributed to support different activities namely exporting businesses, proving that Tunisia is not only willing to attract new investment, but is also careful about ensuring the best growth conditions for foreign businesses having already chosen the country.

In addition to the specific aspects contributing to the attractiveness of the site, the Forum  also focuses in this edition on the legitimate ambition of Tunisia to position itself as a front-rank technology platform in the Euromed area. The performance registered in the fields of innovation & technology and human resources development as well as the actions undertaken by public authorities to support a dynamic policy of R & D will serve as a guide to debates and discussions that highlight the strengths of the Tunisian Site in activities where wealth creation is dependent on the combination of ideas, technologies and knowledge.

The introductory panel on the morning of June 4th provides an overview of Tunisia’s rankings and notations granted by institutions and specialized international agencies. The credibility of these rankings constitutes a guarantee as for the performance achieved by Tunisia and reinforces its will to position itself in the short-list of international investors.

The second panel discussion highlights the contribution of the human capital to the Tunisian strategy for greater penetration of knowledge in economic activities. This panel will present the advantageous business environment put in place in favour of innovation, drawing on the experience of technology parks established in Tunisia, true centres of excellence, where infrastructure is a catalyst for developing innovative projects and specific niches requiring intensive knowledge. The presentation of experiences of Tunisian and foreign operators will shed the light on the evolution registered at the level of technicity of certain outputs completely achieved in Tunisia.
During the 3rd panel, offshoring is serving as case study analysis to assess the positive evolution that the technological environment is witnessing in Tunisia. The participants will be invited to discover the preliminary results of a survey about outsourcing services to Tunisia.

 According to FIPA General Manager, Mrs. Mongia Khemiri, emphasis is being placed on the effort deployed by the Tunisian government ”in education, research, training, ownership by the public and private economic agents of technology and improvement of its penetration into productive sectors.”
Particular attention focuses on long-term development of a dozen science parks nationwide. Tunisia aims to create privileged areas or “islands of excellence” to promote synergies between education, research and entrepreneurship and agglomeration effects that are highly attractive to foreign investment.

For Mrs. Mongia Khemiri, special attention will be given to the analysis of the good scores achieved by Tunisia in some sub-headings such as governance and good management of public funds.

ICTs, which have contributed to the phenomenon of off shoring services, have allowed fixing strategies in Tunisia entirely dedicated to developing new activities: call centers, data entry, tele-solicitation services, basic technical support, transaction processing, research and development, engineering.

Regarding new trends of the forum, Mrs Mongia Khemiri raised two of them. First, ”the forum will not be only targeting investors who are highly desirous to invest in Tunisia, but will also identify partners for Tunisian enterprises. ”This is for us, “she said, “an important step towards internationalizing Tunisian firms.”

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