Wednesday, August 21, 2019

African Manager


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    France’s new financial commitments to support democratic transition in Tunisia stands at more than EUR 220 million a year between 2014 and 2015, according to a concept note by the Tunisian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CTFCI) on co-operation between the two countries.
    France, which remains Tunisia’s leading supplier with 16.2% of the market share in 2014 and its first customer (28.4% of the market share), still has the largest number of companies with foreign shareholding, i.e. 1,350 out of a total of 3,200 companies. 
    French companies or those with French shareholding employ more than 124,000 people in all business sectors in Tunisia.
    According to the CTFCI note, France is also Tunisia’s first bilateral partner in public assistance to development through the French Development Agency (AFD) which has mobilized, for 5 years, an average of some EUR 150 million per year, for Tunisia.
    From the Revolution of 2011 to 2014, the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of French shareholding reached 900.99 million dinars, which helped create 11,550 new jobs in various business sectors, particularly industries and services, according to the same source.
    During this same period, characterized by great instability and a political and social tension, some 274 new projects were created and 296 were extended.
    Despite the climate little conducive to investment and partnership, only 9 companies with French shareholding stopped activity at the end of 2014, in Tunisia, CTFCI underlines. 
    Contrarily, 47 new creations and 58 projects of extension were also reported at the end of the previous year.

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      Tunisia’s grain imports increased by 32% to November 30, to 1.63 million tons from 803,000 tons in 2014, according to latest statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture.
      The same source also said the amounts of grain collected during the 2015 season were down 30%, which explains the resort to import.
      Tunisia has imported 559,000 tons of durum wheat until the end of November 2015, at a cost of USD 257 million.
      These imports amounted to 426,000 tons worth USD 175 million during the same period of 2014.
      The country also imported in 2015 (through November) 502,000 tons of barley (USD 106 million) against 377,000 tons for USD 96 million, up 33.2% in terms of quantity and 10.4% in price.
      The Agriculture Department attributes the rise in the value of durum wheat imports to rising prices of this grain in international markets since the last quarter of 2014.

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        180 used buses will be imported from France in the year 2016, communications officer in the Tunisian transport company, Mohamed Chemli said in a statement to Shems FM, Monday, December 14, 2015, adding that 100 of them will be delivered to the Tunis Transport Company (TRANSTU) by the end of January 2016.

         Mohamed Chemli also said that 120 new buses will be delivered during the period from June to December 2016.

         On the other hand, he announced that TRANSTU intends to acquire 497 new buses in 2017 and 2018.

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          About 37 Tunisian companies specialized in the food sector will participate in the 62nd edition of the “Fancy Food Show” to be held from June 26 to 28, 2016 in New York.

          As country partner to the “Fancy Food Show” which will host 25,000 visitors (distributors, importers …), Tunisia will have a better visibility, consultant Cherif Moujabber said Monday.

          In a statement to TAP on the sidelines of a half-day information on access to the American agri-food market, he said the exhibition will be an opportunity to show that Tunisia has quality products that meet international standards, such olive oil.

          “The olive oil is a popular product in the US market”, said Moujabber, adding that 50 producing and exporting countries will exhibit their products (olive oil) at the Fancy Food Show.

          “American consumers want to try new flavors and textures of natural and organic products and like products that have a story to tell,” he said.

          Dhouha Chtourou, president of the Carthage Olive Oil Company operating in the sector of production and export of olive oil, for her part, indicated that this fair is a great opportunity for Tunisian companies, especially as the US market is the largest consumer of olive oil. She added that her participation in the exhibition aims to strengthen the presence of the Tunisian olive oil, including packaged olive oil on the US market.

          Tunisia is now the third supplier of the US market in bulk olive oil.

          Tunisian companies participating at the show will be supported by technical assistance and coaching of the Tunisian-American coaching program for export managed by Pragma corporation that will be responsible for the organization of business meetings for these companies and allow them to meet potential US buyers to position their products on this market.

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            Co-operation agreements, memoranda of understanding and executive programmes were signed Sunday in Kuwait City at the end of the third session of the Tunisia-Kuwait High Joint Commission.

            Under these accords, holders of diplomatic and special passports are exempted from the visa obligation in the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

            The two sides also agreed to up co-operation in a wide array of sectors, mainly planning, development, industrial exports, youths, sports, higher education and scientific research, standardisation and quality control.

            The third session of the Tunisia-Kuwait Joint Commission, co-chaired by Foreign Minister Taïeb Baccouche and his Kuwaiti opposite number Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, culminated in a series of recommendations and decisions.

            These measures are geared towards fostering bilateral co-operation in finance, investment, industry, services, tourism, health, education, higher education and scientific research, IT, agriculture, environment, culture, youth, sports, employment and public works.

            Baccouche and Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah focused attention on bilateral relations and ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

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              The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) and Arab Tunisian Lease (“ATL”) signed a five-year senior loan agreement for the equivalent of USD 5 million in Euros.

              The proceeds will allow ATL to extend its support to very small and small and medium enterprises (VSEs and SMEs), the powerhouse of the Tunisian economy.

              Leasing companies in Tunisia account for about one-third of VSE/SME financing and play a key role in providing access to financing for a traditionally underserved segment in Tunisia.

              As the country’s second largest leasing institution as at Q3 2015, ATL enjoys good brand recognition and a robust market position serving around 9,000 customers.

              ATL targets professionals, VSEs and SMEs in various economic sectors and offers lease financing for equipment, light and heavy vehicles as well as real estate.

              This SANAD facility will help ATL grow its portfolio by serving approximately 750 VSEs and SMEs.

              As one of five SANAD partner institutions in Tunisia, ATL is the third leasing company in which the Fund is investing. Since 2013, SANAD has made six investments for a total of USD 53 million to support economic growth in Tunisia.

              Wolfgang Reuss, Chairman of SANAD’s Board of Directors, said: “We welcome ATL’s commitment to expanding its leasing services to the ‘missing middle’ in Tunisia, and are pleased to join hands in supporting VSEs and SMEs gain access to finance and grow their businesses.”

              “It is a great pleasure to start this partnership with SANAD, a fund well experienced in supporting financial institutions with a sound record in the Tunisian market. Given the alignment of our mission, we trust that this new established cooperation will be long-lasting and successful, for the benefit of our VSE and SME clients,” said Slimene Bettaieb, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of ATL.

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                The shopping centre “Tunisia Mall,” which covers 37,000 m², was inaugurated Friday at the “Lac II,” area by Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts Salma Elloumi Rekik.

                Investments of around 90 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) have been mobilized for the construction of this centre, besides 40 MTD to equip and develop stores, Director General of the project company “la Sélection de promotion immobiliére” Mohamed Atef Zahani told TAP.

                Tunisia Mall, which has generated 1,000 direct jobs, will house 80 stores of internationally renowned brands, including fifteen which are opening for the first time in Tunisia.

                The objective of this centre is to provide a commercial offering different from the usual one likely to develop Tunisian tourism.

                He said, in this context, that a proposal will be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism to ask for applying the principle of tax refund for foreign tourists to encourage them to go shopping in Tunisia.

                Zahani said two other malls are planned by the company: Tunisia Mall-Ennasr and Tunisia Mall-Sfax whose works will begin in the first half of 2016. The opening of these shopping centers is scheduled for October 2018.

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                  A large Tunisian trade mission of over 20 businessmen supervised by the Export Promotion Centre (CEPEX) travelled to Qatar from December 8 to 11, 2015.

                  The mission includes besides the holding of a business forum, the organization of a B to B contact program with local importers and businessmen operating in the Qatari market, said a statement.

                  This delegation represents the sectors of construction and public works, olive oil, dates, organic products, various fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), seafood (fresh and frozen), poultry and canned food.

                  The organization of such events has the advantage of creating synergies between businessmen in both countries and discussing partnership opportunities in the areas of consumer products, the statement pointed out.

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                    Tunisia plans to attract 10,000 Iranian tourists in 2016 thanks to a three-year cooperation program signed Friday in Tunis between the Tunisian and Iranian governments at the end of the 5th session of the Tunisian-Iranian Joint Committee.

                    The signed cooperation program includes 11 articles on the realization of investment projects, improvement of tourist flow, assistance of travel agencies in the development of joint tourist programs, exchange of expertise and participation in events and fairs standing in each country.

                    The agreement was signed by Minister of Tourism and Handicraft Elloumi Selma Rekik and Iranian Vice President Masoud Soltanifar.

                    Tunisia has attracted about 1,500 Iranian tourists in 2015 against 5,000, Ms. Rekik said adding that the program provides for the establishment of a direct air route between the two countries, in addition to strengthening cooperation in the field of crafts.

                    She emphasized Tunisia’s keenness to encourage joint tourism investment and consolidate cooperation in the fields of tourism and cultural tourism development.

                    For his part, Soltanifar, who is also Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization chief, said Iran wants to raise bilateral cooperation to higher levels, underlining its keenness to work to resolve the issue of visas established between the two countries.

                    He added that his country offers training for Tunisian craftsmen in the field of manufacturing Persian rugs in order to strengthen cooperation in the field of crafts.

                    Heads of the Tunisian federations of hotels (FTH) and travel agencies (FTAV), present at the signing ceremony, expressed their support for the agreement, noting the need to implement it to boost tourism in Tunisia.

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                      Tunisia was ranked 79th on Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 with a score of 40/100, Kamel Ayadi, Regional Representative of the UK-based Global Infrastructure Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) for the MENA region said at an information day in Tunis.
                      The Corruption Perceptions Index each year ranks more than 150 countries across the world based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.
                      The index reflects the views of observers from around the world, including experts living and working in countries evaluated.
                      According to the recent report of this international organization, corruption has expanded in Tunisia over the past five years, as the country moved down in the ranking from 77th in 2013, 75th in 2012, 73rd in 2011, 59th in 2010 and 53rd in 2009.
                      Ayadi said “the proliferation of corruption practices in the first years of the revolution is quite normal, seeing the lack of the state’s authority and the disintegration of power that was in the hands of some people or groups.”
                      However, what is serious is the persistence of this phenomenon even after the completion of the transition process and the establishment of state institutions, he noted.
                      He, therefore, called on the state to lay out a clear strategy to fight corruption from the beginning of 2016, punish the corrupt and step up control.

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