UNIDO ITPO Tokyo and the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Japan held the “Tunisia Business and Investment Seminar” on July 4 and 6 on the occasion of inviting Mr. Jalel Tebib, the Director General of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency Tunisia (FIPA). The seminar was held at two venues, in Tokyo and Osaka, and was attended by 111 Japanese companies and others interested in doing business in Tunisia.
At the beginning of the seminar, H.E. Mr. Mohamed ELLOUMI Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tunisia to Japan, and H.E. Mr. Takeshi OSUGA Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Tunisia, delivered opening remarks and called for investment in and expansion of business into Tunisia.
In his keynote speech, Mr. Tebib, gave a report on the status of foreign investment in Tunisia, saying that in 2021, 502 investment operations (US$424 million) have been implemented in Tunisia, which have led to 11,200 direct jobs, and that the number is increasing year by year. Mr. Tebi also highlighted the advantages of investing in Tunisia, emphasizing the country’s accessibility and network to African and European markets, and stressed that “there are excellent opportunities for Japanese companies in many sectors,” with examples including aviation, digital, mechanical and electrical, agribusiness, and textiles and apparel.
In Tokyo and Osaka, panelists from 4 Japanese companies talked about their business experiences in Tunisia. Mr. Koichiro AKITA, General Manager, Snap & Button Business Div., Business Planning Office, YKK Corporation, introduced that the company has a trading company and product manufacturing base in Tunisia, targeting Europe and North Africa. Based on his experience in operating a production base for wire harnesses for passenger car parts, Mr. Yoshinori INOUE Manager, W/H Production Management Division, YAZAKI Corporation, cited the availability of labor, government support, logistics, infrastructure, political stability, and trade agreements as important factors for his company’s business in Tunisia.
Mr. Yoshiyuki OGATA, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., stressed “access to the European market in one to two days” and “a workforce with excellent quantity, quality, and cost” as reasons for the company group’s decision to establish a wire harness manufacturing base in Tunisia. Mr. Safwan DAMES, Global Operations Division, Saraya Co., Ltd., introduced the company’s efforts to develop and market sustainable products such as olive oil and cosmetics of Tunisian origin.
During the panel discussion, panelists discussed many issues such as the challenges faced by Japanese companies entering the Tunisian market and the potential for collaboration between Japanese companies and startups. After the seminar, the panelists and participants engaged in lively exchanges to promote business while enjoying traditional Tunisian cuisine in the networking session.
- Mr. Jalel Tebib, the Director General of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency Tunisia (FIPA)
- Mr. Koichiro AKITA, General Manager, Snap & Button Business Div., Business Planning Office, YKK Corporation
- Mr. Yoshinori INOUE Manager, W/H Production Management Division, YAZAKI Corporation
- Mr. Yoshiyuki OGATA, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
- Mr. Safwan DAMES, Global Operations Division, Saraya Co., Ltd.
UNIDO ITPO Tokyo (Attn: Ms. Fukuyama, Mr. Gelegen/For media: Mr. Nishiyama)