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Tunisia: Do not strain at the banker!

The highly topical subject «business and banks facing the international crisis”, was the focus of a seminar held last week at the headquarters of the Tunisian employers organization. It attracted businessmen operating in Tunisia and fearing or experiencing the international economic crisis. Decline of the global demand and loans drop due to the lack of liquidity in the banking sector, European and American ordering parties become more reluctant to  payment, which affected  liquidity among Tunisian exporters or foreign investors in Tunisia. A situation which made immediately strained relations between banks and firms in Tunisia, This meeting was so important that it provided the opportunity to check this relationship, to sensitize banks to the situation of enterprises and push them to untie the purse stings, at least to be more understanding so that companies would be able to cope with the crisis and hold out until the crisis is over  even if  its end  is continuously delayed;

Silence on the set! Rolling…. and Action!

The aim was to make” this meeting very quiet and not an opportunity to stain at bankers” as mentioned by Hédi Djilani from the beginning of his opening remarks. The employer’s organization  chairman urged businessmen to be” patient, united, to go hand in hand with bankers and to act as mature behind our President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.”
However, failing to forget that he is the boss of bosses, he said in the presence of BCT Governor, Taoufik Baccar who was attending the meeting that “Europe is in a total crisis and we do not  see the end “adding  that” saying that there is no crisis mobilizes some labour union disturbing elements”., And he was not totally wrong since the labour union  has not failed to tap  for, some time, into  the official silence to negotiate wage increases higher than the 3% pc usually set. The Utica president seized this opportunity to highlight the need to” increase productivity” which should double.

He caught up by suggesting that “we must close ranks and find solutions among ourselves, each playing his role in the transparency” of companies vis-à-vis their bankers, a keyword that  Hédi Djilani  highlighted  and which will then be the leitmotif of the bankers attending  the seminar.

T. Baccar slams protectionism.

The BCT Governor thereafter stressed the capacity of the Tunisian economy to withstand external shocks as well as the efforts of the Tunisian banking sector to continue to properly fund the growth and businesses. He said that 2964 projects have been endorsed for the purpose of funding in 2008, against only 1980 in 2005. Investments increased from 1740 to 3010 MDT MDT

Regarding the international economic crisis, the BCT Governor denounced the “protectionist measures taken by at least 17 countries of the G20, which was preparing for meeting”.Economic and financial measures that forced foreign residents not to repatriate their remittances.” It is true that remittances transfer is one of the major foreign exchange revenue for the Tunisian economy. Actually, this ratio is no longer visible in releases of monthly meetings of BCT Executive board.

Maverick” junior managers”

The only “false note” recorded in the brotherly climate set by the employers’ organization which invited bankers : the remarks made by  at least two members of CJD (Center of Young Leaders), a structure bringing together young entrepreneurs, non-registered on the lists of Utica, but whose organization depends on it.

First to open» fire on the bankers’ Douja Gharbi. Who, on behalf of non-exporters companies that are not involved in the revival plan decided by the government ,slammed  the ” sweltering interest rate “.

Taking then the floor, Jalel Belhhoja, another CJD member highlighted the number of credit requests turned down and  «bleak responses ” allegedly given by bankers to  young entrepreneurs who were applying for loans.


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