CIPE and IACE Launch Hotline to Help Tunisian Businesses Facing Bureaucratic Hurdles

In an effort to improve the Tunisian business environment and accelerate economic reforms, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the Tunisian Arab Institute of Business Leaders (IACE) have launched a hotline to help local businesses deal with red tape and bureaucratic roadblocks. The hotline was developed jointly with the government and the country’s two biggest private sector organizations, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Tunisian Union for Agriculture and Fishing (UTAP).

“This initiative will make it easier for Tunisian entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses,” CIPE Managing Director Andrew Wilson said, Tuesday. “We are impressed with how the private and public sectors in Tunisia are working together to resolve issues that impede economic development. Improving the business environment is key to boosting the economy and creating much-needed jobs.”

The hotline and content management system, SOS IJRAAT, enables businesses that encounter administrative roadblocks and bottlenecks to report the problem and get it resolved. It also provides businesses with information on relevant administrative procedures to help them register and run their companies.

A joint government/private sector taskforce will review every issue that a business owner reports, submit the case to the right agency, and follow up to make sure it is resolved. Every step of the process is recorded, so people who have requested help can see what steps have been taken on a website in real time.

The SOS IJRAAT process of resolving administrative difficulties encountered by companies takes place in three phases:

An identification and diagnosis phase of the problem by a team of advisors,

A phase of transfer of the problem to the administration for processing,

A phase of following-up and recovery of the file.

Over time the taskforce will identify widespread legal and regulatory issues that are handicapping the Tunisian economy, so these can be fixed and accelerate the overall economic reform process. The program is part of a broader National Business Agenda effort that Tunisia’s government and private sector leaders are undertaking to address issues hampering badly-needed economic development in Tunisia.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed complimented the initiative for its potential to identify needed reforms and improve democratic governance: “The launch of the new SOS IJRAAT platform, under the National Business Agenda initiative, is a contribution to the establishment of good governance and a mechanism that seeks to improve the relationship between the administration and Tunisian enterprises.”

The service is intended for all types of companies, individual entrepreneurs, and professionals..

IACE is a leading think tank in Tunisia whose mission is to improve the business environment by fostering dialogue between private and public sector leaders. IACE hosts a strong network of distinguished researchers from top universities in Tunisia, 500 business leaders, and more than 1000 entrepreneurs.

The Washington, D.C.-based Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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