140,000 Tunisian companies in bankruptcy and almost 11,000 business leaders on the run!
The situation for VSMEs (very small, small and medium-sized enterprises) is increasingly complicated, not to say catastrophic. The figures presented by the National Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are directly alarming. Point.
Since the revolution, Tunisian companies have not stopped fighting for their survival with the hope of a better future. The Covid-19 crisis has affected not only Tunisian companies, but a large part of global companies. However, the latter, at least those in developed countries, have been able to benefit from the support of their governments. In Tunisia and due to lack of resources, aid was limited and the majority had to rely on themselves.
With vaccination of populations, companies around the world expected a good recovery, but had not anticipated the war in Ukraine, which created chaos with record high inflation in the world, which never reached for decades, in addition to an explosion in prices of fuel, grain, food and raw materials. What’s worse, shortages of certain products or components have hampered entire industries. For example, the semiconductor crisis, which has greatly disrupted the car sector.
In this context, Tunisian companies have found themselves with their backs to the wall and without support. And the figures revealed by the spokesman of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, Abderrazek Houas, on Friday, July 15, 2022 at the microphone of Hatem Ben Amara in the program Sbeh El Ward on Jawhara FM, are more than alarming, especially since he believes that ” the situation is getting worse “.
Sir. Houas said 140,000 VSMEs have gone bankrupt and that 55,000 others are going the same way, mainly due to the lack of funding. Still, according to him, 1,900 large industrial units went bankrupt between 2011 and 2015. And to state in this context that Tunisia has become a consumer country and that the market is flooded with Turkish products.
He therefore stressed that these bankruptcies have not been registered because those concerned do not have the means to initiate the liquidation proceedings and some are hoping to get back on their feet.
He also assured that it is not necessary to look for the unemployed who are generated at the employment service because it is people who are over forty and who prefer to work from day to day. Others are in jail, mainly because of poor control.
The spokesman also said 10,800 people are on the run abroad. Still, according to him, they have become illegal immigrants who are no longer entitled to have their passports sought and used abroad because of their insecure circumstances.
Thus, and according to a survey conducted by the association on a sample of 3,000 companies, 60% of companies that have been declared discontinued, 92.1% consider themselves in a bankruptcy situation.
According to this same study, 76.4% of executives were sentenced to prison with immediate execution. 62% are in dispute with banks, 16.1% with income from financing and others with leasing companies.
And to clarify that the strife is less with the CNSS because it agrees to discuss with the companies and restructure their debt.
This study also shows that the interviewed companies support a decrease in their turnover of more than 62%. 42.2% of them laid off their employees.
Sir. Houas assured that the lines of credit, the measures and decisions that should benefit Tunisian companies have remained a dead letter.
Recall that on June 6, 2022, the Arab Institute of Business Leaders (IACE) had pointed out that no application text had been published for the twelve planned to activate the measures in the 2022 Finance Act. Ditto, and after sixty days per. the publication of the economic recovery plan on 1eh In April last year, only a presidential decree regarding one measure out of the 42 announced was published, the institute notes.
As a solution, Abderrazek Houas proposes the implementation of two programs: one over five years, the aim of which is to provide financing to companies and where the state should open public markets to VSMEs; and the other over fifty years and aims to legislate and amend the laws that have become archaic and hinder investment, production and even administration.
He also called for no longer criminalizing economic life and abolishing custodial sentences, insisting that Tunisia is the only country to go to prison when it goes bankrupt.
Tunisian VSMEs are in a difficult situation. The figures provided by the National Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are more than alarming because VSMEs represent 80% of Tunisia’s economic structure and the majority of jobs.