Tunisian operators have long favored economic relations with traditional markets, to the detriment of other markets that offer great business opportunities. There is no doubt that African markets are at the forefront of these “highly neglected” markets.
Today, Tunisian operators intend to catch up, aware of what they have to lose as opportunities.
However, is this delay catchable? Do we have our chances in a market already captured by other competing countries?
In this context, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, on Wednesday, estimated that the volume of trade between Tunisia and the rest of African countries remains below expectations, despite the potential of this market.
“Even if these exchanges have undergone a remarkable evolution in recent years, it is nonetheless imperative to combine efforts to raise them to a level that reflects the exemplary relations between African countries,” the PM said at the opening of the Tunisia-Africa E-Business Meetings held from 18 to 20 November.
He said Tunisia’s accession to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) at the beginning of 2020 will guarantee the free movement of goods and services.
He added that the agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will facilitate trade in services and goods throughout the continent from January 2021 to, thereafter, help establish the legal framework that frames policies related to competition, investment, intellectual property and e-commerce.
In view of this new economic dynamic that the continent is experiencing, the Prime Minister called on all African countries to invest more in their resources.
Capitalizing on the pandemic crisis
With regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mechichi emphasized the need to identify and take advantage of the opportunities generated by this crisis, with greater emphasis on investment and entrepreneurship.
Speaking on this occasion, Minister of Trade and Investment Promotion, Mohamed Bousaid recalled that the share of African trade in world trade does not exceed 5%, including about 16% of intra-African trade.
These indicators confirm that the potential between African countries in terms of trade remains untapped, he said, calling on countries to remedy this situation…
Website for economic actors interested in the African market
The Ministry of Trade and Export Promotion recently launched a website aimed at the general public, and mainly at economic actors interested in the African market.
This site, accessible on this link (www.africatradeagreements.tn), is intended for the collection and publication of all documents and legal texts relating to Tunisian-African trade agreements, as well as current negotiations and all activities and events organized in this context.
The design of this site is part of the implementation of the first phase of the project to promote job-generating export activities in new African markets (PEMA I Project), carried out in cooperation with the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).
The project aims to improve the positioning of Tunisian SMEs and develop exports to African markets.
The Trade Department has also announced that a mobile application, with restricted access, has also been developed and will be intended for representatives of national structures concerned by Tunisian-African cooperation in all areas of trade.
This app. is intended to be a platform for preparation, coordination of positions and sharing of information.