Former President of the Tunisian Investment Authority (TIA)Khalil Laâbidiexplained that the significant increase in investment according to the latest published figures was due to a comparison with a year of blocking and suspension of economic activities, namely 2021.
Invited May 13, 2022 by Khouloud Mabrouk in the ether MFIKhalil Laâbidi returned to the sector that had the most investment. He clarified that it was an investment in the form of a capital increase in a bank, ie a portfolio investment and does not lead to job creation. ” There is no real investment … InThis is an investment in the form of a capital increase in a bank, ie a portfolio investment and does not lead to job creation “, he said.
Khalil Laâbidi emphasized the impact of the resumption of economic activity on citizens’ employability and daily life. He mentioned the organization of Tunisia investment Forum and the promises it had brought with it. He explained the lack of realization and concretization of these promises with political instability. ” There was subsequently a new government that considered the forum a failure … He chose not to fulfill the promises. He destroyed what was done instead of exploiting it as a base and moving things forward … However, as guests we had kings and businessmen who wanted to invest … Take the example of Kairouan hospital, ieThis is a project created thanks to this forum and whose funds have been mobilized. It has been blocked so far. We do not have the necessary execution capacity … There is no more of discipline or teamwork within the government that ensures minimal visibility “, He continued.
He argued that blocking and failure to complete projects was due to the complexity of the proceduresadministrative procedures and accusations made at random. He mentioned the difficulties encountered during the expropriation of land. He also talked about the implementation of the project and the release of funds in stages and the problems associated with good governance. “ We are not aware of our true absorbency. We have access to more funds, however, we do not have the necessary experience or the state capacity to carry out the projects … We have no real legal obstacles, ieIt is a problem of law enforcement and the lack of will and courage of those in power … We are preparing to amend the Investment Act, which was implemented in 2017, while the implementing decrees regarding this text have still not been published. This will not change anything! Administrations and managers are afraid of … They are openly accused of corruption! », he apologized.
Concerning an agreement between Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)Khalil Laâbidi explained that the national authorities were accountable to an institution from which they borrowed money. He stressed the critical economic situation in the country. He claimed that the expected reforms were known to all. ” The IMF expects a reduction in the framework for compensation, especially that which applies to hydrocarbons and to the control of the wage bill. The IMF specifies that there are countries three times larger than us with half of our labor costs. There is a discrepancy between this and the creation of wealth in Tunisia … IMF expects more rigor on the wage bill … As for public companies, I would say that any state is a bad private project manager … The state can not compete with private companies and must limit itself to monopolistic sectors such as arms, health, electricity and water “, he added.
Khalil Laâbidi explained that the state did not seek profitability. Tunisia must find a solution. This does not necessarily mean resorting to privatization. “ L ‘UGTT has never declared its opposition to privatization. He called for dialogue and review of companies on a case-by-case basis. The union is ready to study rescue plans “, he said.
He stressed the importance of reaching an agreement with the IMF that would enable economic revival by introducing deep structural reforms. According to him, this will lead to a major ambitious project. He considered such a thing unlikely as the government seeks stability and social peace.