AmCham Tunisia Team met with the Tunisian American Young professionals (TAYP) Board, Mohamed Maalouche, Mr. Mondher Ben Hamida, and Mr. Sami Ben Romdhane on August 9th, 2016 at AmCham Tunisia premises.

This meeting was aimed to find ways of collaboration between the two parties in order to enhance the business relationship between Tunisian and US counterparts from the private and the public sector and to stimulate economic development and foster trade and technology transfer between the two countries and investments from the US.


AmCham Tunisia organized an AmCham Franchise Day in partnership with L’Association Tunisienne de Franchise (ATF); that was held on May 30th, 2016 at Le Paris Hotel.

The event gathered AmCham Tunisia and ATF members who have got the opportunity to have an overview on the guidelines to develop a franchise in Tunisia. It was an exceptional initiative witnessed an intervention from the U.S. by the American Franchise Expert, Prof. William Edwards, who studied the power of franchising; a rapid method of developing business and generating.

There were also a presentation from the CEO and Co-Founder of the One to One for Research and Polling, Mr. Youssef Meddeb, who provided insights and market study on the franchise sector in Tunisia.

The event was moderated by Mrs. Rym Bedoui, B&Co. Consulting, who introduced the methods to develop a franchise and the challenges and opportunities of the sector in Tunisia.

Amcham Tunisia Door Knock & Jec Mission 2016

On May 6, 2016 in Washington D.C., the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (AmCham Tunisia) participated in the first meeting of the U.S.-Tunisia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) as the representative of Tunisia’s private sector in this commission.

The first meeting of the JEC was held as part of the implementation of the U.S.-Tunisia Strategic Dialogue that was created on the occasion of President Beji Caid Essebsi’s visit to Washington in May 2015 to serve as a forum for promoting bilateral economic relations, expanding private sector ties between Tunisia and the United States, and promoting sustainable economic growth and job creation in both countries.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mrs. Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, on the American side and M. Ziad Ladhari, Minister of Vocational Training and Employment, on the Tunisian side. The AmCham delegation, led by Khaled Babbou, President of AmCham Tunisia, was composed of high-level representatives of Tunisian companies as well as representatives of U.S. companies operating in Tunisia. In addition to the Tunisian and American governments’ representatives and AmCham Tunisia delegation, the meeting has registered the participation of representatives of the American private sector, including American companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce, and the Tunisian American Young Professionals Association.

The general topic of the first meeting of the JEC was “Creating private sector jobs and bilateral opportunities through competitiveness and growth.” The breakout sessions focused on accelerating Tunisia’s competitiveness in three priority sectors: Agribusiness, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

In addition to participating in the JEC meeting on May 6th, the delegation held high level meetings with think tanks as well as representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce, NUSACC, USAID, BCIU, OPIC, Carnegie, US trade representatives and other organizations. The meetings provided opportunities for the delegates to raise the awareness of Tunisia’s potentialities in trade and investment.

AmCham Tunisia President, Khaled Babbou, highlighted the delegation’s two main objectives in his speech to the JEC: 1) to make Tunisia a more attractive partner to the United States and the world and 2) to initiate an Economic Partnership Agreement between Tunisia and the United States, which would include a Free Trade Agreement. He also presented AmCham’s recommendations for growth in the three sectors that had been identified through AmCham Days, a consultative process in various stakeholder meetings.

He affirmed that the credibility and sustainability of the bilateral cooperation process, and hence its success, will critically depend on both countries’ commitment to turn the principles, values and objectives guiding the bilateral relations into policies and actions that will give content to what could otherwise become a merely rhetorical partnership.

Mr. Babbou ended his speech by emphasizing the Tunisian private sector’s commitment to working with government and civil society in order to provide solutions and create the conditions for more growth, jobs and prosperity in Tunisia, and for a stronger partnership with the United States.

Members of the Delegation were: Khaled Babbou, Tunisie Courtage; Amel Bouchamaoui, HBG Holding; Mondher Ben Ayed, TMI; Lamia Fourati, Onetech Holding; Mohamed Bridaa, Microsoft; Ziad Oueslati, AfricInvest; Mehdi Tamarziste, Meninx Holding; Mohamed Zaanouni, Zaanouni Law Firm; Noureddine Hajji, AMC EY; Kamel Zarrad, SARTEX; Abdelhakim Ben Hamouda, Consultant and Mohamed Nouri Jouini, MNJ Consulting.

Tunisie – Usa/ Khaled Babbou (Amcham): Les Entreprises Privées En Piste Pour Renforcer Leurs Relations D’affaires

Khaled Babbou, président de l’AmCham, a indiqué, dans une déclaration accordée à notre correspondant Wassim Ben Larbi, en marge des préparatifs de la réunion de la Commission économique mixte tuniso-américaine (JEC), que la mission principale du secteur privé est de promouvoir les exportations tunisiennes et booster échanges commerciaux entre la Tunisie et les Etats-Unis dans différents domaines. Il a indiqué, que cette initiative permettra de renforcer le partenariat économique et stratégique entre les deux pays.

Notons que la réunion de cette commission (JEC), considérée comme une première en Tunisie, sera tenue le 6 Mai 2016, à Washington DC.

Message Of Amcham President On The Occasion Of Dkm & Jec 2016

AmCham Tunisia is sending its sixth delegation to Washington, promote increased economic cooperation between the two countries. This year’s trip, Tunisia Door Knock & JEC Mission – 2016 will follow up on the work of the previous five successful AmCham Delegation visits to the US capital which have taken place during a challenging time for Tunisia both nationally and regionally.US-Tunisia relations have improved during this time and the US government and Congress have committed to support Tunisia’s transition. Within this context, the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (AmCham Tunisia) has been working to promote a constructive dialogue on bilateral issues, and to identify policies and actions that would assist both nations in strengthening cooperation and enabling new investment and business opportunities.

AmCham Tunisia welcomed the launch of the US -Tunisia Strategic Dialogue in 2014, the stated purpose of which was to work toward a deep and comprehensive partnership. In 2015, the US -Tunisia Joint Economic Commission was formed to supplement the Strategic Dialogue and the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in order to further advance economic partnership, expand trade and investment, and promote business opportunities.

This year’s delegation is made up of highly qualified Tunisians, members of AmCham Tunisia. From May 4th to May 6th, 2016 the 12 delegates will meet with think tanks, US trade representatives, US Chamber of Commerce representatives, NUSACC and other organizations in order to lobby for Tunisia’s investment potential.

The AmCham delegation will also participate in the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) Meeting on May 6th, 2016. The JEC is seen as an appropriate and effective institutional mechanism to deal with bilateral economic and development issues and to envision and enact policies, actions, and practical measures in connection with trade, investment, and sectoral cooperation.

The goals of Tunisia Door Knock & JEC Mission – 2016 are to:

  • Raise awareness of Tunisia’ potentialities in trade and investment
  • Reinforce Tunisian – US Business cooperation
  • Build relations with the Congressional and Executive Branches of the US government
  • Represent Tunisia’s private sector during the JEC meeting.
AmCham Tunisia believes this mission serves the interests of both nations, as it promotes peace, stability and prosperity in the Maghreb and beyond.

Amcham Tunisia Lunch Discussion: “tunisia’s Major Financial Reforms”

The Minister of Finance, H.E. Slim Chaker, spoke passionately today at the AmCham Tunisia luncheon dedicated to “Tunisia’s Major Financial Reforms.” Speaking frankly with the nearly 100 participants, Minister Chaker said that the biggest challenge facing Tunisia is creating jobs to alleviate the country’s serious unemployment, especially among its youth. He outlined several initiatives he is taking to improve the economic climate, and then identified five other challenges facing the country.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (AmCham Tunisia) hosted the luncheon for its members, partners and sponsors at the Concorde Hotel in Les Berges du Lac; during which the American Ambassador to Tunisia, H.E. Daniel H. Rubinstein was an honored guest.

Minister Chaker said that while Tunisia has a diversified economy, a good industrial base and a well-educated population, small to medium businesses (SMEs) need help learning about how to enter the American market. Once they overcome what he referred to as the “psychological barrier” and can proceed with confidence, they will know how to do their businesses. However, another difficulty they face is that some of their competitors have tax-free status while Tunisia does not.

He said, his ministry and the Parliament are working on five new laws that will improve the country’s banking system. Among them he named the Central Bank Law which will give banks more freedom and independence from the political system and recapitalize the 3 pubic banks: STB, BT and BH.  The Credit Bureau Law will decentralize finance and provide more services to the whole country. Under this new law the Credit Bureau will work by regions to assess risk and help SMEs acquire loans.

To incentivize business in under-developed areas, cities have been rated according to their development needs. Under this initiative, businesses starting projects in category 1 and 2 cities receive significant tax incentives over more developed cities.

On the topic of attracting foreign investment, he said that American investors could use Tunisia as a platform to reach other markets.

The Ministry of Finance has also been cooperating with US-AID to modernize Tunisia’s Customs Branch and reform its tax laws which will make it more attractive to foreign businesses.

As part of a lively question and answer period, Minister Chaker outlined the 5 major challenges facing Tunisia in its transition to democracy:

  1. Security and the cost of arms and defense – Tunisia has historically spent a large portion of its resources on education, but now in spending millions on arms and security.
  2. Economic growth.
  3. Social instability caused by unemployment and mistrust in the government
  4. Tunisian’s demand for quick fixes for problems that require long-term solutions
  5. Lack of trust in the economic environment.

Sponsored By: 

Presidential Elections 2016

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. But my personal story is not so unique. That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it.

Again and again, we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. I get it.

But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence.

More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. The men and women who gathered there could’ve heard many things. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq.

Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk.

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.

Senate confirms judicial nominees

The Senate unanimously confirmed four of 38 pending judicial nominations Thursday evening, the first of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees to be approved since September.

The nominees—Catherine Eagles, Kimberly Mueller, John Gibney, and James Bredar—are the longest delayed district court nominees, who were each reported out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously. The nominations for Eagles, Mueller and Gibney were sent to the full Senate in May and Bredar was reported out of the committee in June.

The White House hailed the confirmations but said the Senate must continue to act.

“We’re pleased that these four nominees have been confirmed, but urge the Senate to take action on the 34 nominees who remain on the calendar – particularly the 19 who would fill judicial emergencies,” said spokesman Josh Earnest.

Regan Lachapelle, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the four confirmations Thursday are “just a start” to clearing the backlog during this session.

“We are still working through the list and are committed to confirming as many judges as we can,” said Lachapelle. “We’ll take them when we can get them.”

This week, Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have negotiated a deal that could potentially break the bottleneck of Obama’s “uncontroversial” federal court nominees during the dwindling lame duck legislative session. These included most of the nominees who had been reported out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous votes before November elections.

Still, there are a handful of circuit court nominees — whose nominations are rarer and typically receive greater scrutiny — still waiting for votes on the Senate floor, though they had been nominated as far back as November 2009.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy praised the confirmations and called on more to be confirmed to address districts facing judicial emergencies, including vacancies and backlogged dockets, across the country.

“These confirmations are long overdue,” Leahy said. “For months, these nominations have languished before the Senate, without explanation and for no reason. I hope these are the first of many confirmations by the Senate before we adjourn.”

GOP lawmakers have flagged three other nominees, including California law professor Goodwin Liu, as too liberal and inexperienced to be parceled with the rest of the non-controversial judicial candidates set for Senate confirmation.

“We’re pleased that these four nominees have been confirmed, but urge the Senate to take action on the 34 nominees who remain on the calendar – particularly the 19 who would fill judicial emergencies.”

Cutting Risk by Disclosing Political Donations

In politics, it often pays to be ahead of the curve. That holds true for corporate governance too, even more so when politics enter the equation.

That is why a small number of the nation’s largest corporations have voluntarily agreed to report their share of trade association outlays that go to fund political activities. Together, these firms encompass a virtual who’s who in the microcosm of corporate America. In doing so, this corporate vanguard has yielded to pressure from shareholder activist groups that targeted them as prime candidates for greater accountability and transparency.

But this trend also reflects the altered political climate in Washington — a climate personified by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the liberal chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and an advocate of what he calls “shareholder democracy.”

“Some companies get it, some don’t,” said Bruce Freed, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Political Accountability, a nonprofit and non-partisan shareholder advocacy group that is playing a key behind-the-scenes role in orchestrating the recent run of voluntary disclosures. “The ones that don’t get it,” he added, “are headed for a (shareholder) proxy vote.”

Veterans’ advocates hit the Hill

A group advocating the rights of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are on the Hill this week to press lawmakers on issues ranging from disability care to high rates of unemployment.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the largest organization for veterans of the wars, will host a series of events as a part of their Storm the Hill campaign this week, culminating in Thursday’s release of their legislative agenda for 2010.

Top priorities include improving the claims processing system for disabled veterans, addressing the suicide epidemic among service members and improving the Veterans Affairs Department’s health care services for women.

This is the fifth annual trip for the group, which was founded in 2004. Starting Monday, the veterans will form teams named for the military alphabet — Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc. — and will meet with more than 100 lawmakers to discuss their issues.

The veterans were originally scheduled to meet with Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, who died Monday.