Tunisia’s motto of liberty justice and order were enhanced tenfold as Tunisia led the Arab spring across the Maghreb, and beyond in January 2011. Tunisia quickly led the way for a regional population of 100 million souls as its Jasmine Revolution seeded in regional nations to varying degrees. Perhaps as importantly, Tunisia taught the world lessons about change and about human nature itself.
At this stage I should say that I am slightly biased as an Honorary Consul for Tunisia but the facts do speak for themselves.
Hospitality and friendship are in the very DNA of Tunisians and the new Constitution with its freedom of conscience clauses reflects that and became part and parcel of the nation’s recalibration. With change, Tunisia had to embrace well-meaning critiques, and perhaps not so well meaning, but the confidence with which Tunisia is meeting the future can’t be in question.
In recognition of Tunisia’s achievements last year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the National Dialogue Quartet “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011”. The award recognized the peaceful process engineered by the coming together of 21 disparate political entities to design a roadmap into the future securing the full democratization of Tunisia.
Without the will of the Tunisian people we would not be seeing events like the recent ‘Tunisia Investment 2017’ Forum bringing together this month 1,500 international investors, entrepreneurs and project promoters. In 2017 Tunisia has doubled its growth in one year and is expected to see triple growth by 2018, since January alone foreign investment has increased by 7 %.
As Tunisian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Zied Laadhari reported certain industrial sectors have great potential for investment, such as manufacturing industries, automotive components, aeronautics, pharmaceutical industries, agro-industry, mechanical and electrical industries, and textile-clothing. He continued: “’We are betting on other sectors including tourism, renewable energy, information and communication technologies. In this context, Tunisia offers significant potential for investors especially in the private sector.”
Europe’s confidence in Tunisia has similarly grown with the European Investment Bank (EIB) granting Tunisia a loan of € 83 million to support the construction and commissioning of the new Rapid Rail network (RFR) that will provide the city of Tunis with a new 17-kilometer rapid transit system.
With a similar level of confidence, the World Bank recently approved the financing of projects worth 100 million U.S. dollars in the Tunisian forestry sector and is also eyeing irrigation and agricultural projects as well as a Tunisian export promotion plan “Tasdir plus” (Export Plus).
A thriving democracy, a religiously tolerant society, an investor attractive and business transparent economy, and throw in the sun! (sound familiar fellow Australians?) what more could one want. The trick for investors is not to get trampled in the stampede to Tunis.