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Tunisia’s PM: Unity Government’s Achievements Are Yet to Meet People’s Expectations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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: Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed speaks to the press after being appointed by the Tunisian president at Carthage Palace in Carthage, some 15 kilometers on the outskirts of Tunis, on August 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fethi Belaid)

Tunis– Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said his country would witness a major economic growth in the coming months, calling on Arab investors to resume their businesses in Tunisia.

Chahed noted that current disagreements between the government and the labor associations were due to the Cabinet’s abandonment of economic issues and its focus on strengthening constitutional institutions during the years that followed the 2011 uprising.

During an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the Tunisian premier said unemployment was the major problem facing the country’s economy.

He stressed in this regard, the importance of the International Investment Conference, which will be held in Tunis on Nov. 29-30, in presenting to international investors major infrastructure projects that would provide promising job opportunities to the Tunisian youth.

Asked about the current economic, social and security situation in Tunisia, Chahed said that the situation was “fine”. He added that in the years that followed the uprising, the Tunisian government was able to rebuild the country’s institutions, consolidate democratic work, while the main work was focused on the political and security aspects.

Chahed noted that the government has now acknowledged the need to tackle the country’s complex economic problems, hoping that major obstacles would be resolved.

“We believe that today, Tunisia enjoys the different factors for economic and social success,” the premier said.

“I am not saying that Tunisia has achieved full stability, but it remains an important competitive destination in the African continent, thanks to its specialized labor force, its proximity to Europe and the availability of quality products and merchandise,” Chahed told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He also noted that more than 3,000 foreign investment companies are operating in Tunisia, saying the country attracts international investors thanks to its democratic system, which is free of exploitative and arbitrary working conditions.

Asked about the role of Gulf investments in advancing development in the country, Chahed said: “We have invited Gulf investors to take an active part in the International Investment Conference and we have seen that Qatar has become an important partner in organizing this international event.”

He also stressed the importance of recent visits conducted by the Tunisian foreign minister to Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, which expressed their interests in investing in the African country.

The Tunisian premier said his government was about to launch joint projects between the private and public sectors, with high added value.

“We are confident that this international conference will be a success and will attract important investments to the country,” he said.