A delegation of 18 Japanese companies active in the sectors of new technologies, renewable energies, health and agribusiness began, on Monday, a three-day visit to Tunisia to explore business opportunities, said President of the Tunisian-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hedi Ben Abbes.
“It is the first time in years that we receive such a number of Japanese companies that are not established in Tunisia and who come to learn about the opportunities offered by the Tunisian market, but also, the prospects of a triangular cooperation between Tunisia, Japan and Africa,” he added, in a statement to media, during a seminar on the business environment in Tunisia organised on Monday in Tunis by the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) and The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Paris.
These companies will travel tomorrow, Tuesday, to Sousse to visit the “Novation City” (competitiveness cluster), in order to examine the possibilities of setting up there, he added.
The official also said that the visit of the Japanese delegation to Tunisia is part of the preparations for the Tokyo International Conference for the Development of Africa “Ticad 8” to be held in Tunisia in 2022. It was the largest international meeting organised by Tunisia since independence, given the scale of participation in that event, in which all African countries would be represented at a very high level.
“Ticad 7, which took place in Japan in August 2019, brought together 18 thousand participants, including 45 African heads of state and government. During the next edition, Tunisia will have the opportunity to be the capital of Africa and to weave strategic partnerships by linking Japan to the African continent,” he said.
The Tokyo International Conference on African Development “Ticad” is a governmental initiative of Japan for the development of Africa, launched in 1993. It aims to promote political dialogue between Africa and its partners and to garner support for African development initiatives. Japan has hosted six Ticad conferences, and Tunisia will be the second African country to host this major international event outside Japan, following the Nairobi conference in 2016 in Kenya.
Regarding the Japanese presence in Tunisia, Ben Abbes stressed that “to date, we have only 13 Japanese companies established in Tunisia. In terms of number, this remains limited, but these are large companies with a total of nearly 8,000 jobs and operating in areas with very high added value”.
Asked about the impact that the spread of the coronavirus could have on the Tunisian-Japanese partnership, Ben Abbes said that “despite the current circumstances related to the coronavirus, our Japanese friends have maintained their visit to Tunisia, which shows a real interest in the country.
It is an interest that we must develop by further improving our infrastructure and our business climate”.