17 January 2013

Tunisia: Jebali Calls On Local Businessmen to Boost Investment Pace

Tunis — Caretaker Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali called on the Tunisian businessmen to boost the investment pace and anchor the value of labour and abnegation in the service of the country's higher interest.

He underlined, on Thursday, at the opening of the 15th National Congress of the Tunisian Industry, Trade and Handicrafts Union (UTICA) his pledge to overcome the difficulties impeding the promotion of investment."

Mr. Jebali voiced understanding as regards "the hesitation to invest during the transition period." He said that "the government counts on the efforts of the professionals and heads of economic enterprises to strengthen their contribution to the investment efforts and reducing unemployment."

The Prime Minister pointed out that the key challenges of this transition period are "bolstering trust of all the parties in the state institutions and the fight against corruption which curbs economic and social development". He specified that "the promulgation of the law on transitional justice will help speed up the pace of dealing with the files of the businessmen banned from travel."

Mr. Jebali evoked the efforts exerted by the government, including the establishment of a strategy of the promotion of transparency, governance and fight against corruption, in addition to publishing the legal framework ruling the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

Besides, he placed emphasis on the disadvantage of informal economy which does not meet the rules of fair competition with the formal sector, asserting that the treatment of this phenomenon requires a consensus in decision-making and responsible positions to preserve the structured sector.

The Interim PM reiterated "the government attachment to boost consultation and co-operation with the new executive bureau to be elected by the congress."

UTICA outgoing Chairwoman Wided Bouchamaoui proposed to the government to replace the travel-ban measures imposed on businessmen by others that do not paralyse the enterprises' work, till the final resolution of this problem.

Mrs. Bouchamaoui pointed out that Tunisian businessmen and investors are worried about the informal economy, adding that "this scourge" is expanding to new sites, causing enterprises to shut down and jobs to be lost.

She carried on that the Tunisian economy "is still in a dangerous situation and the private sector's struggle to contribute to save the national economy will continue, though this fight turns out to be more complicated today."

Besides, Mrs. Bouchamaoui said that "employers' organisation will remain an independent national organisation away from political infighting."

It is worth pointing out that works of the Congress will be crowned by the election of UTICA new executive board (31 members), in compliance with the new status of the organisation adopted at its extraordinary congress, last December 18.

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