The former president of the Tunisian Investment Authority (TIA)Khalil Laâbidiexplained that the considerable increase in investments according to the latest figures made public resulted from a comparison with a year of blockage and suspension of economic activities, namely 2021.
Invited on May 13, 2022 by Khouloud Mabrouk on the airwaves MFIKhalil Laâbidi returned to the sector that recorded the most investment. He specified that it was an investment in the form of an increase in the capital of a bank, ie a portfolio investment and does not lead to the creation of jobs. ” There is no real investment…IThis is an investment in the form of a capital increase in a bank, i.e. a portfolio investment and does not lead to the creation of jobs “, he said.
Khalil Laâbidi underlined the impact of the resumption of economic activity on the employability and daily lives of citizens. He mentioned the organization of the Tunisia investment Forum and the promises it had brought with it. He explained the lack of realization and concretization of these promises by political instability. ” There was, subsequently, a new government which considered the forum as 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, we had as guests kings and businessmen who wanted to invest… Take the example of Kairouan hospital, iThis is a project created thanks to this forum and whose funds have been mobilized. It is, until now, blocked. We do not have the necessary execution capacity… There is no more of discipline or teamwork within government ensuring minimum visibility “, he continued.
He claimed that the blocking and non-execution of projects resulted from the complexity of the proceduresadministrative procedures and accusations thrown at random. He mentioned the difficulties encountered during the expropriation of land. He also spoke about the implementation of the project and the release of funds in stages and the problems relating to good governance. “ We are not aware of our true absorptive capacity. We have access to several funds, however, we do not have the experience or the government capacity necessary to carry out the projects… We have no real legal obstacles, iIt is a problem of law enforcement and the lack of will and courage of those in power… We are preparing to change the investment law carried out in 2017 while the implementing decrees relating to this text have still not been promulgated. This will not change anything! Administrations and executives are afraid… They are openly accused of corruption! », he lamented.
Regarding an agreement between Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)Khalil Laâbidi explained that national authorities were accountable to an institution from which they borrowed money. He underlined the critical economic situation of the country. He claimed that the expected reforms were known to everyone. ” The IMF expects a reduction in the envelope devoted to compensation, in particular that applicable to hydrocarbons and to a control of the wage bill. The IMF specifies that there are countries three times larger than us with half of our wage bill. There is an inconsistency between this and the creation of wealth in Tunisia… The IMF expects more rigor on the wage bill… Regarding public companies, I would say that any state is a bad private project manager… The State cannot compete with private companies and must limit itself to monopolistic sectors such as armaments, health, electricity and water “, he added.
Khalil Laâbidi explained that the State was not looking for profitability. Tunisia must find a solution. This does not necessarily mean resorting to privatization. “ L’UGTT has never stated its opposition to privatization. He called for dialogue and reviewing companies on a case-by-case basis. The union is ready to study rescue plans “, he said.
He underlined the importance of finding an agreement with the IMF allowing an economic revival by introducing deep structural reforms. This, according to him, will lead to a big ambitious project. He considered such a thing unlikely as the government seeks stability and social peace.