SAVE THE DATE
AmCham Tunisia announces the holding of its Ordinary General Assembly on October 27th, 10 am @ Concorde Hotel Les Berges du Lac
The agenda is as follows:
– Presentation and adoption of the AmCham activity report.
– Presentation and adoption of the financial report.
– Appointment of a new Auditor
– Set the date of the Elective General Assembly
Presentation of GSP
U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. Established by the Trade Act of 1974, (this program aims to foster the integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system and promote development through trade)
GSP promotes economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories.
US Tunisia trade key data
Tunisia is currently the 99th largest goods trading partner with $931 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2019.
Goods exports totaled $461 million
Goods imports totaled $470 million
The U.S. goods trade deficit with Tunisia was $9 million in 2019.
According to the US Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods to Tunisia supported an estimated 3 thousand jobs in the USA in 2015 (latest data available).
Top Export Category to the US
•U.S. goods export from Tunisia totaled $470 million in 2019 up 44.2% from 2009
•The top export categories
•electrical machinery ($102 million)
•animal or vegetable fats and oils -olive oil ($97 million)
•woven apparel ($58 million)
•machinery ($49 million)
•and edible fruit & nuts (date, fig) ($19 million)
Top 25 of GSP underutilized codes results in loss of $28 millions USD for Tunisia exporters
USTR data 2019
•About 20% of Tunisia companies eligible to a GSP privilege are not claiming or underutilizing GSP – mainly in the automotive – aeronautics
•About 80% of Tunisia exports under GSP are food related items. The quotas are nearly fully utilized (95%)
ADD HS codes
There is a large untapped potential in the automotive (electronics – cables, etc.)
(cf. ITC data –Trade DSM)
•Members requested for new HS: fruits / automotive / Dates Paste / Packaged Dates / Tuna and Sardines in olive oil / Tires / Galvanized tubes and coils / Electrical sub-assembly Cards Equipped with an Electronic Integrated Circuit (Smart Cards) / Printed circuits board / plastic parts / Aluminum box / Articles / sanitary ware / Ceramics / Floor tiles
Advocacy for GSP
Discussion with USTR
•Better understand how countries are evaluated and GSP reconducted
•Addendum of HS codes that can promote new sectors (cf. success story of arts and crafts)-
•also help Tunisia better integration since GSP represents only 32% of traded goods with US
•Technical assistance – capacity building programs (cosmetics – drugs)
Communication on GSP
•Discussion with private sector to increase awareness
•Modelization with international trade specialist to understand the impact of GSP on new sectors
•Consultation with agri-food sector to better understand needs related to GSP (Quotas, renewal, etc.)
In the presence of His Excellency Joey Hood, United States Ambassador to Tunisia, the handover and presentation of the new Members of the Executive Board of the AMCHAM Sfax Chapter (Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce) took place.
This event was an opportunity for Members and Friends of the chamber to meet and discuss with Ambassador Joey Hood, who is visiting Sfax for the first time.
Indeed Mr Amin Sellami succeeds Mr Nabil Triki at the head of the chamber.
The New President Mr Amin Sellami presented the members of his executive office which is composed as follows:
Mrs.Sana Keskes-Mr.Sami Triki-Mrs.Emna Ben Arab-Mr.Moez Regayeg-Mrs.Rym Makhloufi-Mr.Ahmed Masmoudi-Mrs.RandaTmar-Mr.Malek Triki-Mrs.Neila Borgi-Mr.Omar Chaari-Mr.Kamel Moalla & Mr.Anis Yaiche
Ambassador Joey Hood received a warm welcome on March 1st from AmCham Board Members & US Companies established in Tunisia. Ambassador Hood and AmCham members discussed avenues to strengthen U.S. investment in Tunisia, enhance the bilateral trade partnership, and bolster Tunisians’ economic opportunities.
Save the Date Webinar
May 20th, 2021 at 9:00 am EST
B2B Session 19, 20, 21 May 2021
AmCham Tunisia & Tunisian Investment Authority (TIA) organized a Webinar on Prosper Africa on December 15th. About 86 participants from Tunisia as well as other African countries, and from the USA attended the event.
Speakers of this Webinar :
* Mr.Naceur Hidoussi, President AmCham Tunisia
* Mr. Beligh Ben Soltane, Chairman, Tunisia Investment Authority
* Ambassadeur Riadh Essid, Directeur Général Amérique-Asie-Océanie (DGAA)
* Mr.John Hansen, Senior Advisor for Transactions, Prosper Africa Executive Secretariat, Washington DC, USA
* Mrs. Rym Bedoui Ayari, VP, AmCham Tunisia, Moderator
The webinar featured a presentation of TIA services to support extensions and or new US investments in Tunisia. Amcham highlighted the importance of the Prosper Africa initiative for the US investment and trade flow in the country and the region. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs discussed the opportunities provided to US private sector in the continent’s free trade areas such as AfCFTA and pursuing negotiations on FTA.
Prosper Africa coordinator, John Hansan shared a presentation on the initiative (click on link).
Bellow how to submit your project:
Prosper Africa POC — ProsperAfrica@usaid.gov. Interested companies can use this email to submit Prosper Africa candidate projects, which goes to our expert team in Washington. Companies can cc Luis and me for awareness, but the Washington-based team is best-suited to evaluate proposals and respond to project questions.
Guidelines and information needed for submissions are included here: https://prosperafrica.dfc.gov/prosper-africa-inquiries/ General information on Prosper Africa and its programs is here: https://prosperafrica.dfc.gov/
INVEST IF Platform EOI — The purpose of this form is for Tunisian SMEs (or Tunisia-based U.S. SMEs) to express interest in receiving investment facilitation support or for other ecosystem players (investors, accelerators, etc.) to recommend SMEs to receive support. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFoe-V67n-dQ50dx65RcIFrAESjM082uv2aoIbDls7s1mANQ/viewform
1 The Roundtable entitled “Investing for positive impact on Women in Africa”, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia with The ‘Chambre Nationale des Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises’ (CNFCE), was held on February 5th, 2020, in Tunis.
2 The session coincided with the Prosper Africa Opening Conference taking place on the 6th that gathered actors from the U.S. & African public and private sector to facilitate bi-lateral trade between the U.S. and the countries of Africa.
3 The objective of the round table was to bring together American & African Public and Private sector female leaders to discuss good practices and experiences in promoting gender parity through gender lens investing
4 Considering the global gender gap in access to the labor market, the MENA region is still quite behind for women at 17% female compared to males at 65% in 2018, regional specific awareness can shine a light on how to target issues accordingly.
5 The 2015 McKinsey Global Institute Report reveals that if the gender gap were closed, the MENA region would have $2.7 trillion of additional GDP in 2025 with Sub Saharan Africa looking to gain $0.3 to $0.7 trillion.
6 The types of organizations that investors should consider to positively impact gender parity:
- Companies that support workplace gender equality
- Businesses led by women
- Companies that promote equality through their products or services
7 Equal opportunity rightly finds its role as Sustainable Development Goal number 5 of 17 put forth by the United Nations in a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development
SDG 5 – To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
8 IRIS Gender Investment Lens Metrics:
By the Global Impact Investing Network
1 Anti Discrimination Policies
2 Gender Wage Equity
3 Board Diversity
4 Number of Female Employees Promoted
5 Number of Female Founders
6 Number of Female Full-time Employees
7 Number of Full-time Female Managers
8 Gender Ratio of Promotions
9 Products Targeted to Women
9 Summary of Recommendations made during Round table discussions:
- Conducive legal environment
Continually working towards legislative changes across the continent that support gender equality is one of the first steps that should be taken in the journey to achieving equality.
- Skills and Competencies Development
Survival and growth depend on access and education to utilize a full range of entrepreneurial training necessary to thrive in their environment.
- Access to financing
Knowledge of where to find investment, access to funders by their distance, societal approachability, linguistic communication barriers, and assistance through the process.
- Supporting women working in male dominated sectors
Women currently working in or entering into a traditionally male dominated sector flourish when awareness and social support systems are in place.
- Long term supportive lending
Utilizing a different, long term, mentorship like approach to investing encourages women to keep them on a path to grow into their fullest potential.
- Foster Female Communities of Entrepreneurs
Communities build, fail, and rebuild together. When social norms have not yet changed in many areas in regard to women in business, finding like minded support is crucial.
- Micro-financing models
The model sees continued success on the continent because of its holistic consideration of the borrowers. They often allow for the first stages of a business to become a reality.
- Change the language
Instead of being seen as a women’s issue, gender parity should be viewed as a business issue because of the proven gains to attained with adapting equality.
Tunisia, February 6th, 2020, The U.S. Embassy and American Chamber of Commerce of Tunisia assisted in organizing the Prosper Africa opening conference, bringing together representatives of the initiative itself, African and American companies and trade organizations, partner banks, and investors along with some of the 15 U.S. government agencies involved in Prosper Africa to advance the dialogue between the participants, and introduce the components of the new 60 billion dollar framework that looks to facilitate bi-lateral trade between the U.S. and African private sectors.
After the opening remarks from the U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, David Blome, Acting Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, Joseph Semsar, CEO of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu, and the Head of Government of Tunisia, H.E. Youssef Chahed, commenced the MOU signing ceremony for a new agreement between the U.S. Government and the United Bank for Africa.
Conference panels covered the landscape of Pan-Africa trade & investment opportunities, supporting U.S. Government tools to be implemented, and the role of USG agencies. Presentations included Governance and Policy, Investing in Innovation, Power Generation and Distribution, Agri-business, and highlighting Tunisia’s role as a gateway to Africa.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia’s Elective General Assembly, held on Thursday, January 16th 2020 at Laico Hotel, chaired by Mr. Naceur Hidoussi , AmCham Tunisia’s President.
Mr. Naceur Hidoussi chaired the session and welcomed all the members present and announced the opening of the session.
Ms. Rym Bedoui Ayari , Vice President of AmCham , presented the Activity Report of the previous mandate.
She then gave the floor to Mr. Adel Chaabane AmCham’s treasurer , to present the Financial Report.
The representative of Price Waterhouse Cooper, Mr. Fares Bejaoui presented the audit Report.
Mr. Aissa Miller took the floor and announced the beginning of the voting process of electing the new Board.
Following the counting of the votes , under the provisions of the Chamber’s statutes and rules of procedure, the Election oversight Committee announced the members elected by the General Assembly as members to the Board as follows:
President: Mr. Naceur Hidoussi, Hexabyte ( Bio)
- Mrs. Rym Bedoui Ayari : Bedoui & Co (Bio)
- Mr.Lotfi Debbabi : Société Tunisienne de Banque (Bio)
- Mr.Ahmed El Karam :Amen Bank
- Mr.Noureddine Hajji : Ernest & Young (Bio)
- Mr.Sami Achour : Integration Objects
- Me.Mohamed Zaanouni : Zaanouni Law Firm (Bio)
- Mr.Noomane Fehri :Digital Future
- Mr.Adel Mohsen Chaabane : Mazars (Bio)
- Mr.Eymen Erraies : Consultant
- Mrs. Fatma Rekik :COFAT
- Mrs. Leila Baghdadi : Professeur (Bio)
Members of the Board
- Mr.Haykel Belhassine :CITI
- Mr.Marouene Braham :Philip Morris
- Mr.Karim Gahbiche : Cerealis
- Mr.Aziz Hadj Romdhane : Hertz
- Mr.Jihed Jahdour : Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Bio)
- Mr.Karim Mokaddem : International Business Machines (Bio)
- Mrs.Rouchou Nouha: Jansen & Jansen (Bio)
- Mr.Adel Torjmen : Financial services company
- Mr.Anas Abdennadher : Groupe Abdennadher
- Mrs.Houbeb Ajmi : Université Centrale (Bio)
- Mr.Islem Ben Mbarek : Groupe Al Badr
- Mr.Sofiane Ben Tounes: OSCAR Infrastructures Services (Bio)
- Mr.Adel Dahmani: Standard Sharing Software
- Mrs.Lamia Fourati: Onetech Holding (Bio)
- Mr.Rafik Mzah: Africinvest (Bio)
- Mrs.Maha Ben Hmidane : UPC Renewables North Africa (Bio)
- Mr.Mehdi BEN ABDALLAH, EXIA (Bio)
The goal of this conference is to promote two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. By bringing together the USG, investors, corporate executives and other private sector representatives from the United States and Africa, the venue will showcase the Prosper Africa initiative and inform participants about the tools and support that the USG can provide to accelerate deals and transactions between U.S. and African companies.
This includes how Prosper Africa’s “Deal Teams” work to support foreign trade and investment. The event will also provide an opportunity to highlight Tunisia’s potential as a destination for investment and as a trade partner. Finally, the event will serve as a business-to-business forum to match projects to investment capital and new technologies and to facilitate partnerships.
The AmCham Women in Tech session 21 October co-sponsored with US Embassy and Chamber Nationale de Femmes Chefs d’Enterprises, resulted in a new strategy for the AmCham Board to consider. OneTech, a prominent AmCham member and several women owned enterprises led the robust discussion. The corporate productivity benefits of more inclusive ‘gender balanced’ hiring and brining women into more senior management roles was the key theme.
Productivity Considerations for Tunisian and American Businesses
Almost 100 participants engaged in the dialogue which reference recent research by both McKinsey and the work Bank. Some estimates suggest that productive increases by almost 60% when enterprises actively engage more women especially at the C Suite and Board level. Both American and Tunisian firms serve to benefit by taking more pro-active policy measures in promoting broader women and minority participation.
Promoting Tunisian Expertise and Job Growth
Women in Tech and the development of FinTech can and do create new job opportunities. Tunisian women are highly educated in tech jobs but may be underutilized unless they are trained ‘soft skills’ to compete and access sustainable careers. AmCham Board will consider ACTIONABLE remediation opportunities.