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Tunisia: Follow-up of the second exports development programme

Furtherance of execution of the second exports development programme (2005-2009) was the central issue of the meeting with the press the trade and handicrafts ministry held on Saturday.

Funded by the World Bank, this programme, which is an extension of the first one (2000-04), is mainly meant to create a propitious background for the development exports and easing external trade.

It is also aimed to improve the exporting enterprises’ output, to help them conquer new foreign outlets and generate a sustainable drive for exports, both at the enterprises’ and professional structures’ levels.

Taking the floor, on the occasion of this press conference, general co-ordinator of the exports development programme Wajdi Khemakhem, explained that the programme strives to assist enterprises utilise the afore-expedition exports financing guarantee, the “Dhamen Finance,” to improve efficiency of technical control procedures, lower trade exchanges and logistic costs, by means of simplifying customs clearance of goods.

Data presented, during this meeting with the media, by those sides charged with the second programme, viz. the trade ministry, the Tunisian External Trade Insurance Company (COTUNACE), Tunisian customs authorities, the National Standardisation and Intellectual Property Institute (INNORPI), all show that the shortening of processing of customs statements for exportable goods: it has been brought down to 0.45 day in 2008, while it had been of 1.6 day 2006.

Information made public about the duration of goods holding in ports, before expedition, has also been reduced too: from 9.26 days, in 2006, to 5.74 days presently.

Besides, all statements on goods customs are now e- processed as part of the single bundle of foreign trade, which allowed to reduce the duration of goods customs clearance and cut prices.

The transport single bundle will be generalised by late October 2009 to all Tunisian ports, which will help bring down to two days the duration of customs clearance. According to forecasts, the duration of customs lifting of goods should exceed 3 days, from now to 2009.

It is worth pointing out that “Dhamen Finance,” one of the key components of the second exports development programme, whose management was entrusted to COTUNACE, has helped some 200 Tunisian firms to finance some 600 export operations, which generated, by late June 2009, incomes of about 145 million dinars.

As regards the programme’s component pertaining to the technical trade obstacles, it is to be underlined that INNORPI posted on its website an “Alert export” page. The latter, meant for Tunisian exporters, makes available the last world exportation novelties, such as regulations, procedures, etc.

It is worth reminding that the Head of State already ordered preparations of a third exports development programme to cover the 2010-2014 period.

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