HE, Madam Raja JHINAOUI BEN ALI, Ambassador of Tunisia identifies economic cooperations
Romania recognized the Tunisian Republic in August 1956, immediately after the declaration of independence. Diplomatic relations were established on December 16th, 1963. In December 2020 the two countries celebrated the 57th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Tunisia opened its Embassy in Bucharest in October 1981. The Romanian Embassy in Tunis was opened in October 1967.
Tunisia and Romania have more than 57 years of fruitful collaboration and concentration, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of multilateral institutions.
This endeavor will be facilitated by our two countries’ sharing of the common universal values of democracy, rule of law and respect for Human Rights.
Being aware about the enormous potential that could be exploited by our business communities, Tunisia is willing to initiate a new chapter of economic cooperation opening a new horizon for a win-win strategic partnership likely to promote investments, joint ventures and commercial exchanges.
Romania and among the European EU member countries that provided solidarity political support and supported Tunisia during our democratic transition.
Tunisia has succeeded in its political transition crowned by the adoption in 2014 of the new constitution and the organization of democratic and transparent presidential and legislative elections in 2019.
After Romania’s accession to the European Union, the legal framework for trade between the two countries is now governed by the Association Agreement between Tunisia and the EU.
Romania is Tunisia’s 13th largest partner and 11th largest supplier, while Tunisia is 58th Romania’s customer and its 47th largest supplier.
Tunisia is the country with the highest percentage of university graduates in the North African countries. A real pool of skills is available with over 1,200 Tunisian graduates are trained in sections specializing in agriculture, forestry & fisheries as well as veterinary sciences.
Main products exported to Romania: fertilizers (66%), inorganic chemical products (15%), shoes, machines and electrical appliances, clothing and accessories in knitted etc.
Relations between the two countries will not be negatively affected by the Covid-19 but there will be stronger consolidation andIt wasmanifestedbythephone call between the two foreign ministers of our two countries HE. BOGDAN AURESCU and HE. NOUREDDINE ERRAY) on June 3rd 2020.
We have the enormous potential that could be exploited by our business communities.
The Tunisian economy is characterized by increasing liberalization, greater integration in the global economy and stronger competitiveness combined with a new regulatory and tax incentive framework. The new Investment Law, which came into force on the 1st of April 2017, offers the following advantages:
- total freedom of foreign equity participation for offshore companies;
- reduction in the number of authorizations and review of the relevant specifications;
- freedom of access to land ownership for the realization of the investment;
- guarantees to the investor in compliance with international standards for fair and equitable treatment and for the protection of industrial and intellectual property;
- freedom to transfer of funds (profits, dividends and assets) abroad;
- possibility to hire 30 % of foreign executives during the first 3 years by simple declaration and 10 % thereafter with 4 executives guaranteed in all cases;
- Financial and Tax incentives;
- Income tax rate reduced to 10 % for totally exporting companies;
- Total exemption from VAT and customs duties on inputs to products to be re-exported;
- Total tax exemption of benefits for up to 10 years granted to companies operating in regional development zones;
- Specific investment grants in regional development zones covering up to 30 % of investment cost capped at 3 MTND;
- Investment grants for priority sectors and value chains;
- Economic yield grant on intangible investment and research and development expenditure;
- Subsidy of employers’ contribution to mandatory schemes;
- Subsidy of expenses incurred under training programs leading to certification;
Tunisia is ranked 1st in North Africa in terms of :
- Talent Competitiveness | “Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018, INSEAD”
- Entrepreneurship Ecosystem | “Global Entrepreneurship Index 2018, GEDI”
- Innovation | “Bloomberg Innovation Index 2018, Bloomberg”
- Competitive Industrial Performance | “Competitive Industrial Performance Index 2018, UNIDO”
- ICT Development | “Measuring the Information Society Report, 2017”
- Transition to E-commerce | “B2C E-commerce Index 2018, UNCTAD”
Many projects can be interesting in Romania:
- agrifood is one of the strategic industrial sectors in Tunisia economy
- The aerospace industry in Tunisia has experienced a clear expansion for the last decade
- Mechanical , electrical and electronic industries could interest Romania as this sector has acquired a prominent position in the Tunisian industrial fabric .In fact Mechanical , Electrical and electronic Industries ( MEEI )are the first export sector in Tunisia with 45 of industrial exports and 37.4 % exported goods.
- Tunisia is the 2nd manufacturer of automotive components in Africa
- More than 230 companies are opening in the sector of automotive components of which 134 are totally exporting and 65 are specialized in aircraft industry.
- MEEI rank 3rd in industrial investment after agribusiness and IMCCV (Construction Material, ceramics and glass Industries).
We are interested by many products from Romania actually we import ships, boats and floating structures which are the big part around 31%
– Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation, 19%
– Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof, 15%
– Cereals, 13%
We import also from Romania: vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal; as well as machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers, aluminium and articles thereof, rubber and articles thereof, plastics and articles thereof.
Actually the Main imported products from Tunisia are:
- Insulated incl. enameled or anodized wire, cable
- Mineral or chemical fertilizers
- Printed circuits
- Parts of footwear
- Articles of aluminum,
- Parts suitable for use solely or principally
- Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles
Articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading…
Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery…
Machines and mechanical appliances having individual…cereals (32%), petroleum and derivative coal (25%), electrical machinery (13%), cast iron and steel, wood and woodwork, inorganic chemicals, boilers, reactors and other mechanical machinery,
But we have much to do together in order to fructify our bilateral relations we can provide Romanian market by agriproducts such as olive oil, dates; fruits and vegetables as well as organic products
It is to be noted in this regard that Tunisia has made remarkable achievements in certain products:
- It is the 1st World Exporter of dates,
- the 2nd World Exporter of olive oil
- the 3th producer of organic olive oil
- 2nd African exporter of organic production
- 60 organic products are exported mainly olive oil , dates, fruits natural ingredients for cosmetics
Tunisia is the 8th country accredited as an organic exporter to the EU market
Tunisia is the only African country having the recognition of equivalence with the EU and Switzerland pertaining to organic agriculture.
Since my appointment as ambassador of Tunisia to Romania I visited many cities such as Galati, Prahova, Iasi, Timisoara, Cluj, Sibiu, Dambivioara, Arad, but unfortunately in the context of Covid-19 many other visits were cancelled.
All of my visits were for aim to consolidate decentralized cooperation and create tweens between cities and similar institutions, as well as searching for new opportunities of common interest in order to enhance our bilateral cooperation.
Furthermore, Tunisia represents a regional hub from which Romanian companies can export their products, services and knowhow to the African continent.
Indeed, Romanian companies can take advantage of Tunisia’s adherence to some important regional groupings like the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), to enhance their presence in a market of more than half a billion of consumers.
Tunisia and Romania have also the possibility to promote a triangular cooperation with their strategic partners: Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The vitality of the tourism is another positive field of cooperation, nearly 30.000 Romanians visited Tunisia in 2019, comparing with 2018 when 13.000 Romanians visited Tunisia.
In this respect, various possibilities of cooperation remain to be explored given Tunisia’s willingness to exchange with Romania the experience that it has gained in this field over the years.
I’m convinced, however, that much remains to be done in order to intensify our efforts in the fields of food processing, textiles, electrical, mechanical and chemical industries, pharmaceuticals, mining prospecting, renewable energy, handicrafts, tourism and information technology in this regard:
- We should assist each other in organizing and participating in trade missions, trade fairs, exhibitions, conferences, seminars and other economic activities.
- Exchange trade and investment information while respecting the laws and regulations of both countries
In 2019 we organised economic forum and a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania and Tunisian Confederation of Industry Trade and Handcrafts.
The purpose of this MOU is to establish a practical framework for the development of stronger business relations between us and to set forth the procedures of cooperation to enhance the implementation of mutual economic objectives.
For this purpose a bilateral business council should be created.