Investors Look Toward Future at Tunisia 2020
Qatar and France promised more than $1 billion in financial support for Tunisia at an investment conference aimed at reviving the country’s struggling economy.Nearly six years after its Arab Spring revolution, Tunisia is confronting high unemployment, low growth and a tourism sector hammered by jihadist attacks.
The two-day Tunisia 2020 conference in November 2016 aimed to put the North African nation “back on the investment map of the Mediterranean,” officials said.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani pledged $1.25 billion in financial support at the opening session. He said the money would “support the Tunisian economy and strengthen its process of development.” He did not give details about the form of the assistance.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the French Development Agency would invest “at least $265 million every year” in Tunisia.
“We will also implement operations to convert Tunisian debt into development projects,” he said.
He praised Tunisia’s “exemplary transition” after its 2011 revolution and said France had a “duty and a responsibility” to support it.
The Tunisian government hopes the conference, attended by more than 2,000 business, finance and political leaders from 40 countries, will attract billions of dollars of investment.
It is also seeking bids on 140 ventures from infrastructure and agricultural projects to high-tech projects worth about $32 billion.