The United States of America today reaffirmed its commitment to support Tunisia as it liberalizes political system and economy.
At the Opening Ceremony of the Tunisia Investment Forum, Assistant Secretary Jose W. Fernandez of Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs said Tunisia is officially open for business.
“The world has seen the Arab Spring take flight, but now we must help the Arab Spring take root. The United States is working to ensure the revolution delivers on its promise.” -Mr. Fernandez
Mr. Fernandez reiterated President Obama’s statement that the United States strongly supports political and economic change in Tunisia and throughout the region in order to meet the people’s legitimate aspirations.
“The United States supports not only transitions to democracy, but transitions to economic principles that promote democratic growth, which can provide more opportunities for all the people, particularly the young people in the region.” -Mr. Fernandez
He said the United States is also working bilaterally to directly support Tunisia’s transition.
Mr. Fernandez underscored that the United States is supporting job creation through academic exchange, cultivation of entrepreneurship and innovation, skills training for youth, and support for institutional reforms that will encourage investment and growth. He added that the American government will directly assist young Tunisians as they seek to transform themselves from job seekers to job creators.
He noted that another important way that the U.S. government is partnering with Tunisia is through direct private sector investment in Tunisia’s economy.
“One major initiative, recently announced by secretary clinton, is a $2 billion fund through the U.S.overseas private investment corporation (opic) to catalyze private sector investment and provide access to credit for business financing in the Middle Eastand North Africa, including Tunisia.” -Mr. Fernandez
He said the fund will prioritize support for small- and medium-sized enterprises across a variety of sectors.