US to support new entrepreneurs in Tunisia: Obama

Tunis, March 6 (IANS): US President Barack Obama has said that the US would invest more than one billion dollars in the next generation of entrepreneurs in Tunisia and the world.

Obama announced the decision via an audiovisual message, which was sent to the opening of the Investment and Entrepreneurship Conference (IEC) held in Tunis on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

In the message, Obama emphasised the ongoing support to new entrepreneurs, especially youth and female entrepreneurs.

Within the next three years, more than one billion US dollars would be invested in the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs "in order to help them start and develop new markets, and start a new era of innovation," he said.

The president also praised the "model transition of Tunisia" and highlighted the challenges awaiting.

"It is easy to be discouraged, but the story of Tunisia gives us hope," Obama said, adding that currently Tunisia is united by a spirit of compromise and consensus, "a new constitution, free and fair elections, and creation of an inclusive government."

For his part, Tunisian Prime Minister Essid said at the conference that Tunisia has successfully finished the transitional process, and his country "was able to make major steps towards setting a new pioneer political model and a new approach that is based on freedom and pluralism."

The IEC is jointly held by the US State Department, American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia, and the Tunisian government.

At least 300 economic representatives of the business field in Tunisia and abroad participated at the conference.

Analysts say the presence of American multinationals in Tunisia is still considered limited in comparison to other countries. Less than 70 American companies are among the 3,200 foreign companies functioning in Tunisia.


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