In recent days, many events have been organized in connection with Tunisians residing abroad, about 10% of the Tunisian people, and whose contribution to the national economy is becoming increasingly important. That is not due only to remittances transferred , but also thanks to other more decisive factors that are involved ,i.e. the full potential of this sector in creating projects in the home country, alongside with jobs created and technology transfer that can be carried out by Tunisians, particularly those who hold very important positions in their countries of residence.
Opening the National Conference of Tunisian Expatriates, Prime minister, Mohamed Ghannouchi called to make better known Tunisia’s gains and the different achievements that have entitled it to hold a prime position on the regional and world scale, which helped enhance its external influence and contributed to achieve growing success likely to enable Tunisia to catch up with developed countries.
He said that remittances of the Tunisian community reached between 2005 and 2008 over eight billion dinars and that they rose by 6% in the first half of 2009 compared with the same period of last year.
The prime minister underlined that Tunisia yearns today to see members of its community abroad play more important roles in backing the development process, in particular thanks to the change in the structure of this community which witnessed a noticeable increase in the number of senior executives, skills and potentials. He highlighted, in this regard, the need to involve these skills in different national files.
For his part, Tunisia’s Central Bank governor Taoufik Baccar, when chairing the works of the first commission on the impact of the world economic crisis on the Tunisian expatriates, said that the country counts on all the social categories whether at home or abroad all the more that the context of the crisis needs the mobilisation of all the efforts to preserve Tunisia’s development process.
He reviewed the measures adopted by Tunisia to face up the crisis and preserve employment specifying that these measures allowed to achieve interesting results including the rise of the net banking income during the first half of 2009 by 9 %.
BCT governor underlined the role of the Tunisian expatriates in the preservation of the financial balance, pointing out that these transfers in hard currency rose during the first half of 2009, by about 8%.
He went on saying that these results materialise the trust placed by the Tunisian community in the Tunisian financial system, noting that the country’s policy in matters of exchanges is characterised by flexibility and diversity, which allows the Tunisian expatriates to have banking accounts in foreign currency and in convertible dinars in addition to the exemption of these accounts of all taxations.
Baccar noted that the present international context requires exerting efforts to limit impact of the crisis calling the Tunisian expatriates to intensify financing transfers and investments.
The National Conference of Tunisian Expatriates issued important recommendations adopted in commissions.
Participants in the commission on “the world economic crisis and its impact on the Tunisian community abroad” unanimously emphasised the need to develop the mechanisms of social guidance, to help members of the community overcome difficulties resulting from the fallout of the crisis.
They also called to reinforce the role of diplomatic and consular missions in following up the effects of this crisis on Tunisian expatriates’ living conditions and their professional situation.
The commission on “Tunisian expatriates’ role in promoting national achievements and reinforcing ties with societies of host countries,” recommended to devise a developed communication plan to provide accurate information on investment and exports opportunities in Tunisia.
Besides, participants in this commission emphasised the need to energise the role of Tunisian associations abroad and clubs of businessmen and skills, and to organise events and create web sites to publicise Tunisia’s achievements.
In another connection, they called to strengthen relations with Tunisia’s friends abroad among politicians, intellectuals, scientists, artists and journalists and to make the most of the radiance of Tunisian personalities living abroad to promote Tunisia’s distinguished image