The 33 new foreign companies that started production after the Revolution of January 14 and the expansion of 65 companies already in place are strong evidences that companies have not lost confidence in Tunisia,” Director-General of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) Noureddine Zekri told TAP news agency.
After the fall of Ben Ali’s regime, 60 delegations of foreign investors from several countries (USA, Great Britain….) and 15 international companies operating in outsourcing had visited Tunisia to get to know about the business climate, he added.
“The new Tunisia will offer a healthy atmosphere to foreign investors and put an end to all obstacles they faced in the past,” Mr. Zekri said, adding that all indicators augur of good prospects for foreign direct investments (FDI) in Tunisia.
Two days before the opening of the “2011 Tunisia Investment Forum” to be held on June 16-17 in Gammarth (Tunis Northern Suburb), the official said that “this event will help enhance the post-revolutionary image of Tunisia and stress the importance of new opportunities for attracting FDIs.”
“Investment in a ‘democratic and pluralistic’ environment will give more credibility to Tunisia and its business climate.”
“The 2011 Tunisia Investment Forum” seeks to rectify the image conveyed by some foreign media on the security situation in the country (lack of security, strikes, sit-ins….) during that period, said Mr. Zekri.
“These media did not mention in parallel the resumption of activities of foreign companies in the country only two weeks following their interruption after January 14.”
According to the FIPA official, 1 000 participants including 320 foreign investors from 26 countries will take part in this forum. “This reflects the confidence of foreign investors in Tunisia,” he highlighted.
Asked about the impact of the wave of claims for wage increase on foreign companies, the FIPA Director-General said that they responded positively by improving the social situation of their employees without waiting for the next negotiations.
He called, to this end, to take into consideration the efforts made by these companies during the negotiations on wage increase to ensure their financial stability.
He stressed the need to put an end to strikes and sit-ins, which would push foreign companies to leave Tunisia to other investment sites.
After January 14, 2011, the wave of strikes and sit-ins led to the cessation of activities of 45 foreign companies or joint ventures out of 3 200 companies set up in Tunisia. These companies employed 3 000 workers. Yet, large companies have not left the country.