The economic diplomacy embodies the economic and commercial dimension of the traditional diplomacy of the State. It aims at using efficiently existing networks of relations and communication as well as frameworks of cooperation established over the years with States and institutions, at the service of the country's economy, in particular for exploring new markets for the export of products and services, approaching economic businessmen to invest in our country and to promote Tunisia as a multi-facetted tourist site offering a wide range of attractions.
To this extent, the identification of objectives and mobilization of means are necessary to provide our country with capacities likely to implement the economic diplomacy. The latter is dependent on efforts and synergies deployed between all stakeholders in the economic activity of the country; namely, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its web of diplomatic and consular missions, all ministerial departments in charge of economy and promotion, national support institutions (CEPEX, FIPA, ONTT, APII, APIA, ATCT, ANETI ,…), the Tunisian airline company Tunis Air, CTN ( Tunisian shipping company ), various Chambers of Commerce and industry as well as the Employers' Unions (UTICA, CONECT, TABC, UTAP ….).
Apart from actions deployed by the above-mentioned stakeholders with the aim of strengthening the Tunisian economic presence and ensure the promotion of our goods and services, it is quite essential to turn to the know how and the skills of highly-qualified tunisian managers and officials residing abroad in order to involve them in the national strategy aiming to capture any economic opportunity likely to contribute in promoting growth and the image of our country.
This strategy could also imply the resort to tunisian experts for the realization of development projects within the framework of technical cooperation. A great number of our compatriots have been working long time in partner and friendly countries, in diversified fields such as health, education, rural electrification, water adduction and purification, works of infrastructure….They do represent the Tunisian know how and play the role of Ambassadors entrusted with promoting the quality of the Tunisian expertise in the countries where they work and live.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has always endeavored to highlight national efforts for the promotion of Tunisia's image, reflecting a constant awareness of the importance of the economic diplomacy and the advantages resulting in boosting foreign trade, services and direct foreign investment, especially in intensifying initiatives towards emerging countries, under multiple shapes ; multi-sectorial economic missions or focusing on a specific sector of activities, participating in exhibitions and fairs in the targeted countries, organizing of international fora, inviting businessmen etc….
Achieving these objectives odepends, consequently, on concerted efforts, on a shared vision and synergies between all stakeholders in the economic activity who should involve in:
- - Promoting and attracting direct foreign investments or tri-partite investment (triangular cooperation);
- - Increasing exports, in particular towards new markets, by diversifying the tunisian production et by favoring the creation of value-added goods.
- - Resorting to tunisian skills, qualifications and expertise working in foreign countries (teachers, doctors, paramedical technicians, ingineers et others).
- - Calling the Tunisian diaspora to invest in Tunisia.
- - Attracting more tourists in our country, opening up to new markets and promotion of Tunisia as a diversified tourist destination (beach resorts, seaside tourism, tourism on sahara, golf, culture, guest houses, rural cottages,….).
- - Promoting Tunisia among futur students and technicians (higher education and vocational training), in particular for nationals from subsaharian african countries (with the aim of reaching 20.000 students up to 2025).
- - Promoting Tunisia as a health destination (special care for therapy, hospitals and/or esthetics) as well as sanitary evacuation.
The Secretary of State in charge of Economic Diplomacy within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in fact the consecration of the economic dimension into the diplomatic action and an approach aiming to join efforts made by all stakeholders (parliamentarians, national support institutions, chambers of commerce and industry, joint chambers) in order to attract more investments, ensure the export promotion while developing a strategy of influence and lobbying likely to enable our country to defend national economic interests within the multilateral institutions.
The economic and the strategic awareness should be necessary to allow our country to look for potential opportunities to be grabbed to the benefit to the tunisian economy. Any support to national enterprises adopting a strategy of going international with the intention of settling abroad, will be one of the top priorities of the Tunisian economic diplomacy.
To this extent, the touring missions (in South East Asia, in Latin America, in Central Asia and in Africa ), would constitute a major milestone in the strategy of the State Secretariat to promote the " label of the territory ", to value the national brand, to boost the Tunisian economy and contribute in the gradual increase of the growth recovery.
Tunisia is lucky to have an excellent image abroad. Our political transition has been saluted and greeted by the entire international community. Consequently, all efforts should be deployed to serve the high interests of the Nation with a total commitment from all relevant parties. To this extent, diplomacy should also be considered as an instrument of permanent promotion for Tunisia.