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Cablegate: Tunisia Proposal for Bfif Funds

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTU #0057/01 0251307
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251307Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7195
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TUNIS 000057

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/IFD/OIA AND NEA/MAG
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/ONE (MASON)AND CLDP (TEJTEL AND MCMANUS)
CASABLANCA FOR FCS (KITSON)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ECON EINV ETRD BTIO
SUBJECT: TUNISIA PROPOSAL FOR BFIF FUNDS

Below are Embassy Tunis' proposals, in rank order, for Business
Facilitation Incentive Funds.

---------------------------------------
"Doing Business with the U.S." Roadshow
---------------------------------------

1. (U) Tunisia's economy is largely focused on trade with Europe,
with U.S. exports at only $502 million in 2008 (8th after France,
Italy, and Libya). Tunisian businesspeople, trade organizations,
and chambers of commerce often cite lack of information about how to
invest and trade with the United States as a reason for this gap.
To fill this demand for information, Post sent six candidates from
the Tunisian private and public sector to the United States in
December 2009 on a Single-Country Program (part of the International
Visitor and Leadership Program) to learn about how to export to the
United States. In November 2008, a representative came from the
U.S. Trade Representative to speak to Tunisian audiences about the
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Both programs were
very successful, in large part because they met a pent-up demand for
information.

2. (U) Post would like to organize a Roadshow to provide information
to Tunisian entrepreneurs and the private sector on how to do
business with the United States. Our Commercial section will
present the portion on GSP, and the participants who went on the
IVLP program will present information gleaned from that trip. The
Roadshow will travel to major cities outside of Tunis (Bizerte,
Sousse, Sfax), target entrepreneurs, and be organized in tandem with
Tunisian trade and entrepreneurship organizations.

3. (U) The expected impact is increased bilateral commercial
relations and a higher profile for the United States as a trading
partner. The Roadshow will meet Tunisian demand for information
about investing and exporting to the United States. Most Tunisian
businesspeople have no idea where to go to find information - a
Roadshow will provide them with the necessary tools and at the same
time allow us to do media outreach to highlight the U.S. as a
potential market.

4. (U) Funds will be needed by May 2010. Post is currently holding
preliminary meetings with the IVLP alumni and the organizations we
will partner with (Center for Young Entrepreneurs, the
Tunisian-American Chamber of Commerce, Tunisian Customs, and UTICA,
the Tunisian Employers' Association).

5. (U) Costs are estimated for a Roadshow that goes to Bizerte,
Sousse, and Sfax. The rough itinerary is Day 1 (Bizerte - no
overnight), Day 2 (travel to Sousse, Presentation, overnight in
Sousse), Day 3 (travel to Sfax, Presentation, overnight in Sfax),
Day 4 (return to Tunis). Participants will be Econ/Commercial
Officer, Commercial Specialist, two participants from IVLP program,
with a dedicated Embassy driver.

Hotel Participants (2 nights x $150) = $300 x 4 participants =
$1200
M & IE Participants (3 days x $98) = $294 x 2 participants = $588
Hotel driver (2 nights x $150) = $300
M & IE driver (3 days x $98) = $294
Driver overtime costs: $250
Misc travel costs = $400
Possible Space Rental Cost = $800 (we anticipate other organizations
to cover this)
TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $3832

6. (U) Points of Contact: Isabel E. Rioja-Scott, Econ/Commercial
Officer, +216-71-107-460 (Rioja-ScottIE@state.gov)
Sami Aouadhi, Commercial Specialist, +216-71-107-231
(AouadhiS@state.gov)

----------------------------
International Franchise Expo
----------------------------

7. (U) Until August 2009, the concept of franchising was not
specified in Tunisian legislation, and franchising operations were
approved on a case-by-case basis. New legislation, however, created
an opening for the operation of foreign franchises in Tunisia - a
market that is of particular interest to U.S. franchisors. In
December 2009, Post coordinated with the Commercial Law Development
Program (CLDP) to bring an expert speaker to Tunisia. He
participated in the first-ever Tunisian franchise show, and held
important consulting sessions with those in the Ministry of Commerce
responsible for drafting the legislation (and the implementation
decree, due out in February 2010). To build on this outreach we
have offered, with possible CLDP funding, to bring a Tunisian
delegation to the International Franchise Expo in April 2010 in
Washington, DC. The delegation, to be comprised of three Ministry
of Commerce representatives, two representatives from the Tunis
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and one from the Tunisian-American
Chamber of Commerce, as well as private sector (self-paying)
participants, will go to the IFE and also partake in specialized
training offered by CLDP.

8. (U) Participation in the IFE and CLDP programs on franchising
will have a direct positive impact for U.S. franchisors. The
delegates will learn about the benefits and mechanics of
franchising, and implement the adequate legal framework and business
environment in Tunisia to allow franchises to thrive. The United
States is a world leader in franchising and is poised to take
advantage of this new market in Tunisia.

9. (U) The trip is planned for April 7-11, 2010, which means Post
would need confirmation of funds by March 1, 2010.

10. (U) Cost calculations are based on covering six Tunisian
participants and two USG personnel. The cost estimates cover
airfare, per diem, miscellaneous travel expenses,
translation/interpretation and materials. These cost estimates were
estimated jointly with CLDP. The Embassy would consider partial
funding for this proposal.

Economy Tickets ($1,500 x 8) = $12,800
Hotel Washington, DC ($226 x 48) = $10,848
M & IE DC ($71 x 60) = $4,260
Misc Travel ($300 x 8) = 2,400
Local Transportation ($9,000 x 1) = $9,000
Interpretation Services and Travel ($4,000 x 1) = $4,000
Materials ($1,000 x 1) = $1,000
TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $44,308

GRAY

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