The Tunisian representatives insist on the need to increase collaboration between the two territories with the aim of finding innovative solutions that limit the effects of this crisis on the economies of both countries.
More than eleven million inhabitants, strategic location between Europe, the Middle East and Africa, first position in North Africa in terms of attracting talent, are some of the attractions of Tunisia. This country is among the most competitive economies in the Arab world and the African continent. In the current context, led by the pandemic, estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) point to a contraction for this year of 7%, while for 2021, they project a rebound in 4%.
«Tunisian companies have suffered the impact of COVID-19 and have been very difficult to find the balance between health protection and economic development«, recognizes the charge d'affaires of the Tunisian Embassy in Spain, Hazar Sassi, in a talk organized by the Madrid Chamber of Commerce. That is why it has valued the fluidity of trade relations between both countries after commenting that last year Spanish exports were 789 million euros and imports were 605 million. In addition to this, he has also emphasized the "opportunity" offered by the Spanish fund for the internationalization of companies, which granted Tunisia a line of credit of 25 million euros for Tunisian SMEs and mixed (Tunisian-Spanish) ) that operate in all sectors.
In this context of health crisis, Sassi insists on the need to collaborate "even more" and find "innovative solutions that limit the effects of this crisis on the economies of both countries." Particularly, from Tunisia he explains that They are adapting to this new reality defining emerging investment sectors, promoting the strategy of their region, simplifying procedures and facilitating information so that Spanish companies have "the opportunity to make the right decision and choose Tunisia for their future investments."
It ensures that in times of crisis new opportunities, innovations and ingenious solutions arise. For this reason, it urges Spanish firms to take advantage of the strategic geographical position and its proximity to Europe, which can serve as a source of access to other regions (Libya or African countries).
Innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness
It is the first country in Africa in terms of attracting talent, according to him Global Talent Competitiveness Index. It also highlights its entrepreneurial ecosystem and, for his part, the Bloomberg Innovation Index highlights its high degree of innovation, as well as a competitiveness based on industrial performance. In this regard, the director of FIPA Tunisia for Spain and Portugal, Ibrahim Medini, stressed at the conference that there is an "opportunity to work in the digital sector with the start-ups«.
In addition, he highlighted the country's potential in the sector agri-food, which can help Spanish companies to do partnership. Specifically, Tunisia is the world's first exporter of dates and the second in Africa in organic products. It also occupies the second position as a producer of automobile components on the continent. "When we talk about a car brand, we have a rate of 40% of components produced in our country," says Medini.
Regarding the number of Spanish companies settled in this territory, it is estimated at 62. Medini clarifies that, although it is still a small number, «the ebullition of Spanish companies in this country is positive and has improved in the number of jobs and foreign direct investment in the last nine months. In response to DIRIGENTES, Ibrahim Medini explains that these companies that have opted for Tunisia come from sectors such as construction, agri-food, plastic, clothing and footwear, chemicals, electronics and pharmaceuticals. He adds that there are also groups that work in the tourism field.
Likewise, mention has been made of the growing areas of the country. The director of FIPA Tunisia for Spain and Portugal has defined Tunisia as a "reference place for the automotive components sector", pointing out that its strengths are the presence of large equipment manufacturers, its geographical proximity, workforce experienced, great notoriety, especially in Europe, as well as the availability of logistics centers.
Other important sectors are aeronautical, textile and agri-food. On the other hand, another one that is expanding is the pharmacist and Medini clarifies that "we do not have to look for opportunities in this area, because they already exist, but rather relations between companies must be facilitated to attract more ideas and investors." Finally, it refers to new areas of investment such as renewable energies, the environment, tourism, logistics services, infrastructure and the financial field. "Tunisia is the door to Africa," he remarks.