Tunisia needs to develop quality brand image in USA (AmCham) | Tunisia News Gazette

Tunisia needs to develop quality brand image in USA (AmCham)

Tunisia needs to develop a quality brand image in the United States and in high value-added markets, concluded a market study conducted in January 2018 by the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (AmCham) with its members and the business community to determine the challenges faced by Tunisian companies exporting to the US market.

AmCham asserts, in a statement released Thursday, on the results of this study, to support “the demands of its members who want reforms in export procedures” adding that the difficulties faced by Tunisian exporting companies surveyed, are related to bureaucracy (including export certifications), port infrastructure and penalising customs taxes.

According to this study, the challenges faced by these companies include the ability to access an international electronic payment in order to conquer the markets through online sales (Amazon Paypal, Ebay, etc.) and claiming subsidies and administration aids to compete internationally.

“The AmCham finds through this study that most of its members share a relatively recent experience even for mature companies.” The US market requires significant investments in labeling, sanitary standards, the cost of prospecting and product adaptation. “It is therefore not within the reach of small businesses or young entrepreneurs without export experience,” the statement reads.

Tunisian exports to the US market reached in 2017, about 462 million dollars (around 1.122 million dinars) against imports of about 551 million dollars (1.338 million dinars), according to data cited by the Chamber.

AmCham has set up “Tunisia Export Lab”, financed by MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative, State Department) with the objective of developing Tunisian exports of 45 companies operating in the region, agri-food, handicrafts and digital sector to the United States.

A market study conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (AmCham) among its members and the business community as well as the opportunities identified in the US market reinforce the conviction of the need to support a policy of development of a quality Tunisian brand image in the US and in high value-added markets.

“The American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia (AmCham) supports the demands of its members who want reforms in export procedures,” said the chamber in a statement released Thursday in Tunis.

Tunisian companies exporting to the United States market surveyed in the context of this study conducted in January 2018 unanimously addressed the issue of bureaucracy (including export certifications), the infrastructure of ports, taxes penalising customs but also penalising administrative procedures.

According to this study to determine the challenges faced by companies exporting to the US market, a new fact in recent years is the need of companies to access international electronic payment in order to penetrate markets through online sales (Amazon Paypal, Ebay, etc.).

The study also notes the expectation of exporters to receive subsidies and aid from the administration who consider that international competitiveness must be supported by state aid.

In a general context, the US market is not a traditional market for Tunisian exporters. The Amcham finds through this study that most of its members share a relatively recent experience even for mature companies. This market requires significant investments in labeling, sanitary standards, the cost of prospecting and adapting products, etc. It is therefore not within reach of small businesses or young entrepreneurs without export experience.

According to the US Census Bureau, Tunisian exports to the US market in 2017 are about $ 462 million against imports for $ 551 million.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia has set up “Tunisia Export Lab” funded by MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative, State Department) with the objective of developing Tunisian exports of 45 companies operating in the agro, artisanal and digital sector towards the United States.

The US market has a population of 325 million consumers and a GDP per capita of 57,254 USD (2016).

Source: TAP News Agency

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