Although Arab countries share, to a certain extent, a common history, in terms of economic and social development, they are not a homogenous block. Starting from its position as a platform in the Mediterranean, Tunisia has made of multi-partnership a strategic choice and placed it in the heart of its economic development policy to achieve this goal. The choice has become an imperative in the wake of the multiple geostrategic changes taking place internationally, including the emergence and proliferation of regional economic groupings.
Commendable efforts have been made in this direction in order to promote this process and strengthen cooperation ties. Starting from this strategic approach, the first sequence of training action on “multi-business partnerships, development tool,” began on Tuesday in Tunis, on the initiative of the Exports Promotion Center (CEPEX), in collaboration with the “Cité Internationale Wallonne” (Belgium). The event is held from October 12 to 14, 2010. It targets 10 Walloon small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 10 Tunisian SMEs.
The aim is to promote the integration of Tunisia in its regional and international environment in a global context of heavy challenges and stakes and facing requirements inherent to partnership with the European Union, a partnership which should be based, from Tunisia’s view, on multi-partnership, to guarantee attributes of sustainable development to the Mediterranean countries, especially Maghreb ones.
In this context, Tunisia represents for several countries, including Belgium, a gateway to the Grand Maghreb, given its strategic position vis-à-vis neighboring countries. »Tunisian-Belgian partnership offers opportunities for optimizing a tax perspective and foreign exchange regulations” said Frederic Bois De Vroylande, Walloon Economic and Commercial Attaché in his speech. Remember that Tunisia and Belgium are strategic partners that have many similarities, including the choice focused on an economy oriented towards strengthening partnerships.
n this regard, this first sequence of the training action provides an opportunity to showcase the evolution of inter-Maghreb trade. In fact, this small growth reflects the needs of the Maghreb economies in investment, market size and complementarity.
In this context, Khaled Salhi, commercial Attaché of CEPEX in Algeria, reminded of the legal framework governing trade relations between Tunisia and Algeria. For his part, Hicham El Phil, permanent expert in the Fund of Access to Export Markets (FAMEX) and Algerian market specialist, focused on Tunisia’s strengths, namely a strong human resource potential and development of multi modal logistics platforms, prompting the development of exports and reduction of production costs “Tunisia is willing to develop inter-Maghreb economic and trade relations” he added.
Despite the gains achieved, thanks to these efforts and initiatives, particularly, the proliferation of mutual agreements, plans and programs, participants unanimously emphasized that broader perspectives and horizons are available to Maghreb countries which have significant potential and where the proportion of young people represents almost 60%. These countries are called, in this context, to intensify their efforts and solidarity to win the future challenges. However, this long process takes a long time. It is a long process that should be preceded by several steps including the promotion of free trade, the creation of a customs union and the establishment of a common market.