SEV broadens its network of cooperation with employers’ organisations of the Mediterranean basin
On 30 and 31 October 2007, a Greek business mission carried out a two-day visit to Tunisia. The mission was organised by SEV in collaboration with the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece and was aimed at exploring an emerging southern Mediterranean market where Greece currently has a limited presence. Companies from the sectors of energy, plastics, marble and farm machinery participated in the mission, holding over 40 business meetings with Tunisian companies. According to initial projections, there is potential for entry into the Tunisian market in the sectors of renewable energy sources –in which there is an increasing demand– agricultural products and packaging, textiles, machinery, electrical and electronic goods, and participation in construction projects.
At a Forum held in Tunis, SEV signed a Cooperation Protocol with the Tunisian Union of Commerce, Industry and Handicraft (UTICA), extending its network and cooperation with employers’ organisations of the Mediterranean basin.
As SEV Vice-chairman Ms. Dimitra Mitrogiannopoulou noted on signing the agreement, SEV is endeavouring to offer useful, targeted information on the investment environment, legislation, calls for tenders or products for which there is a demand in the local market, bringing SEV members into contact with trusted Tunisian companies. ''We want to increase our exports,'' Ms. Mitrogiannopoulou noted, ''which are currently no more that €65 million, and see Greek investment initiatives focus on this region, which we must not underestimate.''
As pointed out, the positive aspects of the Tunisian business environment include the potential for immediate setting up of companies, fast customs procedures, free movement of capital and the reliable banking system. Also making a positive contribution are the development of infrastructures, incentives for regional development, agricultural production and environmental protection, as well as the potential for setting up off-shore companies that allow for duty-free imports and exports.
Finally, it should be noted that Tunisia is an important partner in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Tunisia has an Association Agreement with the European Union and is gradually developing an open economy seeking to attract foreign companies –beyond the French and Italian companies that have a traditional presence there– to expand competition. The Free Trade Zones Tunisia has with Morocco, Egypt and Jordan, as well as its good relations with the neighbouring countries of Algeria and Libya, facilitate trade and investment activities in the broader southern Mediterranean region.