Some 20 Tunisian businesses were set up after a string of prospecting missions conducted by the Tunisia-Africa Business Council (TABC), said President Bassem Loukil.
The newly established companies are operating in the sectors of health (private clinics), building, agriculture and new technologies, TAP reports.
Several partnership agreements and commercial contracts were signed in 2017 by Tunisian and African operators, Loukil Thursday said on the fringes of a lunch meeting under the theme “Retrospective Look at 2017, Action Plan for 2018.”
“We had very positive feedback from the Tunisian Foreign Trade Insurance Company (French: COTUNACE) and some African banks that fund these projects,” he indicated.
Funding is a major challenge and a significant obstacle to the development of trade with Africa, Loukil added. “Even when contracts are concluded, Tunisian operators fall short of mobilising the necessary funds, hence the idea of organising in Tunis next February 6-7 an international conference on investment.”
Financing Investment and Trade in Africa will bring together 500 African officials and decision makers, notably ministers of investment, international cooperation and trade and heads of pan-African and international financial institutions along with experts, according to TAP.
Participants will consider ways to improve funding mechanisms and techniques geared towards boosting intra-African trade and investment projects and help Tunisia enhance its image in Africa, Loukil highlighted.
He likewise spoke about projects awaiting funding in Guinea, Mali and Ivory Coast and said 70 to 80 Tunisian new technology businesses are operating in Africa.
Outlining the 2018 action plan, TABC Secretary-General Anis Jaziri said a number of prospection missions will coincide with inaugural flights of national carrier Tunisair.
The agenda of the mission includes participation in the International Fair of Khartoum 2018 (January 22-26), a medical mission to Burkina Faso, a multi-sectoral mission to Ghana (late February), the second edition of the Tunisian African Empowerment Forum (October) and Fashion Africa (December).
Trade Minister Omar Béhi laid emphasis on the importance of the public-private partnership in improving Tunisia’s footprint in the African market and boosting trade.
On the sidelines of this lunch meeting, the TABC inked three partnership agreements with the Central University of Tunisia, Express Cargo and hygiene products manufacturer Sancella which provide for supporting its action and making the most of its support in sub-Saharan Africa, TAP reports.