(TAP) – The investment law, which will enter into force on January 1, 2017, will be presented to local and foreign investors during the International Investment Conference scheduled for November 29 and 30.
Adopted only two months ago, this text, long awaited by economic operators, has been aligned with the national objectives of the 2016/2020 five-year development plan, namely the transition from a low-cost economy to an economic hub, regional development, job creation and sustainable development.
The drafting of this law, which has been extensively studied and negotiated by the various State institutions, has made it possible to adapt it to the current context of the country and to harmonize its provisions with international standards for the codification of investment market, incentives, institutional and arbitration).
Composed of only 25 articles, the new law differs from the former complicated and inaccessible code, offering the investor more visibility while bringing new features, in terms of structures, authorizations and deadlines according to a document of the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation.
In this respect, the new law has favoured the reduction of the number of authorizations, with the programme revising the specifications as part of a five-year government programme.
This measure helps lawmakers to remedy the problem of the closure of the Tunisian market, especially since no authorization is provided for in law pending the promulgation of the texts expected in December.
In order to ease administrative procedures and put an end to delays due waiting times, the investment law stipulates the need to comply with the response deadlines for each authorization requested by the investor and the obligation to justify each refusal.
Failure to reply within the time limit constitutes acceptance under Article 4 of the Law.
By virtue of the new law (articles 13-15), the investor can carry out his project by addressing the Tunisian investment agency, which will be his only interlocutor in charge of guidance, support and support.
Article 5 of the Law also allows foreign investors to acquire real estate to make their investments whereas previously they could only do so in industrial or tourist areas.
The law also provides (Article 6) to foreign investors the possibility of employing 30% of foreign executives up to the 3rd year (from the date of incorporation of the company or any date of entry into office) and this rate may increase with the authorization of the ministry in charge of employment.
As regards articles 7-10, they allow foreign investors to freely transfer their profits and assets abroad. They limit the Central Bank’s discretion to simplify procedures and set the deadline for reply, which must be notified to the foreign investor.
These articles also stipulate the protection of property against encroachment without discrimination between Tunisian and foreign investors.
According to traders, the investment law is one of the determining factors in the investment decision as well as political stability, security and efficiency of the administration.