Labour Day: UTICA calls for food and energy self-sufficiency to protect Tunisia against crises

A minimum level of autonomy and self-sufficiency in energy and commodities ( grains, fodder, etc.) is needed to protect the country against crises and guarantee its food and energy security, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) said in a statement issued on Monday on the Labour Day.

The confederation underscored the need to promote the value of work and the principles of good governance and efficient management of resources in order to achieve self-sufficiency and thus serve the goals of development and economic sovereignty.

It underlined the importance of economic reforms to support the productive fabric, create employment, improve services to citizens and restore the State's financial balance so it can fulfil its social role.

"Economic reform is not a model to be imported from abroad without reflection, nor a guide to be followed without will or a ready-made ideological prototype (...), it is rather our capacity to correct our mistakes, to stop wasting public money and to make good use of available resources," the UTICA said.

It considered that the reform must be based on integrated scientific approaches that take into account the requirements of the moment and interact with the external environment, calling in this regard to avoid wasting more time and resources and to stop the excessive recourse to external debt for consumption needs instead of investment.

The employers' union also warned against the excessive recourse to imports of what the country is capable of growing or manufacturing locally as well as against the carelesThe UTICA further considers that the Labour Day should be an opportunity to think about the turning points missed by the country, notably with regard to the exploitation of natural resources such as phosphates, mining resources, oil and gas, for which a good management is today capable of reversing the situation and guaranteeing the country the income it needs.

As such, the UTICA also referred to the missed opportunities in terms of investment in renewable energy and the development of agricultural and processing industries, some of which, notably dairy, cereals and meat, have been declining over the years from a state of self-sufficiency and surplus production to a situation of deficit.

It considered that it would be difficult for the country to overcome such a crisis, if it remains under the influence of narrow interests, miscalculations and trade agreements that are disadvantageous to Tunisia, arguing that it would be necessary to rely on national human resources to achieve a comprehensive, fair and sustainable development.sness and lack of firmness regarding the extent of the informal sector at the expense of the organised sector and structured companies.

It is also essential, according to UTICA, to remove all barriers to the freedom to work and produce, to support private initiative and facilitate the launch of productive projects with a hope of achieving one project creator per family, in order to alleviate the burden of unemployment, revive economic activity and create a new societal dynamic.

Consolidate social peace, strengthen industrial relations with a view to improving both business and employment, develop educational and vocational training approaches, bring scientific research closer to its economic environment and reinforce public-private partnerships in the educational and technological fields would also be, according to the UTICA, paths to follow in order to help overcome the crisis.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse