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Tunisia: Businessmen briefed on pump-priming plan

The 22nd “Wednesday of enterprises’ creation” was held in  the stronghold of entrepreneurs and businessmen, the premises of  Utica .As might be expected , the meeting was devoted to measures taken on 23 December 2008 for pump-priming the economy as well to the relevant law and legislation taken for their implementation.

The law came into force in early January until the end of June 2009, i.e. a six months period. That is why an urgent appeal was launched to potential beneficiaries to start soon applying for the benefits they are  eligible to.

Outlining the employers’ stand regarding the international financial crisis, Hédi Djilani President of Utica said that the European Union which is the major economic partner of Tunisia has been plagued with doubt due to the international financial crisis which grew global economic crisis, plunging the EU into recession as evidenced by all economic indicators.

Despite this situation, he added, Tunisia is able  to deal with an  EU whose growth rate is whatsoever low , even going down to zero , by imagining and putting in place mechanisms that allow operators to continue to export to these countries, even if 2009 was to be a blank year for the Tunisian economy. The key, he said, is to protect our businesses and their staff, even if we have to “work twice as hard to win the same thing and possibly not win anything.”

Utica has set up a committee to watch and monitor the crisis in the light of all the figures that have or will be provided by the various partners, said the chairman of the managerial organization  who urged businessmen to banish fear. There is no need to have fears; and, in doing so, the5% economic growth rate set by Tunisia will be achieved, he added.

He urged businessmen to relocate activities and investments within the country where conditions are much better than in the capital, particularly regarding the price per square meter that has reached astronomical levels, expressing the wish that prices keep going on skyrocketing so that entrepreneurs will be inexorably discouraged from investing in Tunis district.
For his part, Minister of Industry, Energy and SMEs, Afif Chelbi outlined the framework within which “Wednesday the creation of business» takes place, dedicated to support measures taken to revive and help Tunisian enterprises face the impact of international financial crisis.

Difficulties but also opportunities

He said that the year 2009 will be difficult for the Tunisian companies, but at the same time it is meant to offer them new opportunities, reviewing the economic and structural measures adopted in this regard.

Among the opportunities, he mentioned the focus of many EU companies on relocatiing relocate their operations outside Europe, especially in the automotive components sector, citing the example of several foreign groups that have decided to locate and invest in Tunisia at the height of the crisis.

The Minister concluded by emphasizing the need for vigilance, sense of responsibility and self-confidence.

Representatives of departments responsible for implementing the pump-priming plan took the floor to explain the practical arrangements, including those relating to eligibility for the benefit of measures.


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