In the first quarter of 2017, foreign direct investment registered a growth by 16.6%. Director of Assistance and Monitoring of Foreign Companies within the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) Hatem Soussi told TAP on Friday that foreign investment reached 462 million dinars (MD), compared to 396.2 MD during the same period last year.
The official said investments in the financial portfolio fell by 21.6% compared to last year. He added that this kind of investment will increase during the next period, particularly after the entry into force of the Investment Law (April 1, 2017).
Soussi reminded in this context that the new investment law eliminated the authorisations for the acquisition of shares in the stock market in order to allow the foreign investor to acquire 100% of the shares (66.6% previously).
Regarding foreign direct investment, the official said that they have increased by 18% from 381.9MD to 450.8 MD.
FDI in the energy sector accounted for the largest share of investment volume reaching 246.9MD (a decline of 3.6% compared to the same period last year).
Regarding FDI in the industrial sector, the official pointed out that they reached 144.6 MD (an increase of 63.3% compared to the results recorded in 2016). The first quarter of this year saw the entry of 7 foreign companies in the production phase.
External investment in the services sector reached 59.3 MD, compared to 37.3 MD in the same period of 2016.
Soussi explained this remarkable development by acquiring the Dar Naouar hotel complex located in Gammarth by the Qatari group “El Majida”, with the aim of creating a tourist complex specialising in congress and business tourism.
On the other hand, and for the second consecutive year, no foreign investment was recorded in Tunisia in the agricultural sector during the first quarter of the previous two years.
According to Soussi, foreign investment in the agricultural sector is linked to handling of files at the level of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, which is responsible for granting permits to foreign investors who expect approval of premiums and benefits.
Director of Assistance and Monitoring of Foreign Companies within FIPA also reported positive developments in the flow of foreign direct investment through the implementation of the Investment Law and the Investment intentions declared last year which reached 36%.