Meeting with visiting UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi at the presidential palace in Tunis on 5 February 2012, President Marzouki said Tunisia is facing an array of economic, political and social problems after three decades of misrule. He was conscious that Tunisia is being viewed as a laboratory for the Arab world and a barometer of change in the region.
Despite the challenges his nation is facing, President Marzouki was confident that after having achieved a peaceful democratic transition, “Tunisia will not disappoint”.
Focusing on pragmatic steps to revitalize the economy, the President discussed with the UNCTAD Secretary-General possibilities for cooperation in the fields of investment policies, training of small and medium-scale entrepreneurs, and innovation and capacity building with the aim of creating jobs, improving the welfare of the population, fostering inclusion and dispersing development to previously marginalized regions of the country.
At UNCTAD XIII, President Marzouki will also participate in a special High-Level panel where leaders will be discussing new opportunities for economic growth with social equity, drawing upon the lessons and challenges of the Arab Spring.
Secretary-General Supachai also held wide-ranging discussions with H.E. Mohamed Chakhari, Minister of Industry and Commerce, and H.E. Touhami Abdouli, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Among the topics discussed were cooperation with UNCTAD on e-government, e-tourism, ICT policy review, and free trade on the African continent, as well as South-South cooperation, the role of the State and new development pathways.