Tunisia: Foreign Investments Record Positive Results - Investment Ministry

Tunis — "The total flow of foreign investments in Tunisia was up to 3,079.5 million Tunisian dinars (MTD), recording a positive development of 79.2% compared with 2011, and of 27.4% compared with 2010, inspite of the difficulties faced by national and international economic juncture in 2012," a communiqué of the Investment and International Co-operation Ministry announced on Wednesday.

According to the investment department, "the manufacturing industries recorded a rise of 61% compared with 2011, and a slight decline of 7% compared with 2010."

"These investments helped create 123 new enterprises and extend 185 already set-up units operating in several sectors as textile-clothing, mechanical and electrical industries, services, leather and footwear, food industries and others, generating 10,263 jobs."

The Ministry specified that "over 120 foreign enterprises stopped activities in view mainly of marketing difficulties towards Europe, reasons related to productivity and social problems."

As regards mobilisation of foreign financial resources, 1,101.4 MTD under the form of donations were mobilised, 629.4 MTD of which are part of bilateral co-operation, 420 MTD of the European Union (EU), 34.2 MTD as part of multilateral co-operation and 17.8 MTD from regional co-operation.

Tunisia managed "for the first time in its history to mobilise this amount, while the average had always been worth about 300 MTD a year in the past years, which testifies to the backers' will to support Tunisia in this critical transition phase," according to the investment ministry.

As regards credits, Tunisia mobilised 3,899.3 MTD, 1,733.3 MTD of which as part of regional co-operation, 1,673 MTD as part of bilateral co-operation, 834.4 MTD as part of multilateral co-operation and 700 MTD from the EU.

"The set of funding are meant to support the State budget to finance several projects in various sectors, such as infrastructure, support to the private sector notably small- and medium-sized enterprises, the health sector, the improvement of living conditions in inland regions, agricultural development and energy."

"These concessional loans whose interest rates range between 1.5% and 2.5%, with a 20 year-payback period and a 5-year grace period."

As for technical co-operation, 2,900 Tunisian executives were recruited in 2012 to work in sisterly and friendly countries, compared with 2,306 in 2011, and 1827 in 2010, i.e a rise of 25.6% and 58. 6% respectively.

In this regard, 277 executives among the 2,900 were hired for their first job, which represents 9.5% of the total number of the recruited.

Gulf countries are the first recruiters; Saudi Arabia is in the lead with 639 recruits, ahead of Oman (608) and Qatar (363).

The remaining number are shared out between some African and European countries and regional and international organisations.

The total number of Tunisian competences abroad reached 12,690 by the end of 2012.

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