5 March 2018

Tunisia: Young Entrepreneurs Will Be Able to Open Foreign Currency Bank Accounts - (Minister)

The startup bill will allow young entrepreneurs to open foreign currency bank accounts in order to facilitate equipment acquisition, creation of subsidiaries abroad and access to foreign markets as well as avoid administrative procedures, Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy Anouar Maarouf said on Monday.

Speaking at a study day on the startups promotion bill organised by The House of People's Representatives (HPR), Maarouf added that the implementation of this bill will increase the threshold of the international payment card from 10 to 100 thousand dinars to allow startups to expand abroad.

The bill will allow each young university graduate to implement his/her project idea without fear of failure and to benefit from the incentive mechanisms made available by the government, added Maarouf.

Tunisian Banks do not fund startups; therefore this law will help identify the dedicated mechanisms and structures in this field, the minister also pointed out.

He added that this draft law is revolutionary since it is easy to handle thus facilitating the launch of projects through granting an establishment bonus, adding that it is also a cross-border law allowing Tunisians abroad to invest in the country.

On his part, President of The Committee on Industry, Energy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure and the Environment Ameur Larayedh said the committee will start discussing the bill article by article on March 8.

He stressed its role in providing an environment conducive to the creation and development of projects and assisting startups in overcoming difficulties.

The startup bill is composed of 20 articles and four chapters dedicated to the definition of startups, their creation, establishment incentives as well as their dedicated funds and benefits.

The bill aims to establish an incentive framework for the creation of startups based on innovation, the adoption of new technologies and the creation of high and competitive added value on national and international scale.

Young entrepreneurs present at the study day stressed the difficulty and complexity of administrative procedures that impede projects development, highlighting the importance of time and its role in the success of startups.

They called for necessary support to these startups and bolstering suppliers' confidence.

Some young entrepreneurs emphasised the need to stop the brain drain and ensure patent registration in order to develop a data base of ideas and increase high added value projects.

Other entrepreneurs highlighted the importance to outline ideas before and after their implementation and not to settle for a university degree, through the continuous training provided by the most important universities around the world.

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