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Tunisia's Abdelkefi: ‘We are Looking Up for Partnerships, Contracts rather than Aids from ‘2020 Conference’ - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Tunisia- Tunisian Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation Fadhel Abdelkefi said that his country doesn’t want aids or donations from participants in the Tunisia International Investments Conference 2020; instead, it is looking forward for concluding partnership and investment contracts to fund the 145 mega projects.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat before kicking off the two-day investment conference, Abdelkefi said that he hopes more than 1,000 businessmen, representatives for global companies and international banks, presidents and prime ministers participate in this conference.

He explained that participants will be briefed on the investment climate in Tunisia and what it offers from legislations, incentives and motivations for all those willing to invest in his country.

Abdelkefi noted that his country’s budget has been weakened by purchase of weapons and equipment to arm the military and security forces to counter terrorism.

He urged the world to help Tunisia by supporting its investments and development plans, noting that Tunisia will enter the real economic boom phase after 2017 and will enhance the political and democratic transition following 2011 revolution, which started the economic transition.

When asked about the conference and its level of importance for Tunisia, Abdelkefi said that it will be divided into two phases. In its first phase, he said, Tunisian President Essebsi will head a session, which will be attended by prominent officials and world political leaders, including French, Serbian and Algerian prime ministers, Germany and Switzerland’s former Presidents, Head of European Investment Bank, Vice President of the World Bank in addition to a number foreign ministers.

The second phase will comprise the opening of the economic forum, which will showcase investment opportunities in Tunisia in order for it to return to its normal position in the Mediterranean investment map as the best competitive site due to its strategic geographical location.

Therefore, he said, “this conference is very important for Tunisia’s future economic situation.”

Regarding the participation of Saudi Arabia in the conference, Abdelkefi said that a High Representative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques will attend in addition to a minister from the economic sector and a number of senior Saudi investors and businessmen.

Abdelkefi explained that since many banks and international funds will participate in the conference, Tunisia will reasonably borrow money and will repay them within 40 years and for 1% interest rate, which will give Tunisia the opportunity to pay this debt and enhance its investment projects.