Despite the obvious perils of a revolution, Tunisa’s commodity industry gives its nations the opportunityto start again using the best possible infrastructure and technology.
With this in mind we got the chance to ask Zouheir Touiti, a Jurist Expert in Law and Institutional Relations for the Tunisian NOC who has a lot of influence on which people engage in business projects with his country; a few questions about the Tunisian landscape today.
Please tell us briefly about your role as well as what you’re currently working on?
I work as a Deputy Manager of research and new opportunities in energy in the Tunisian National Oil company. Roughly speaking, I’m in charge of the negotiation, analyses and drafting of petroleum agreements and contracts of sales, purchases and other agreements. I follow the agreements from downstream, midstream and upstream and so on. Also, I’m the Chief negotiator of the committee responsible of discussing new opportunities in Tunisia. Beside this, I’m also teaching investment contracts and business law in the Tunisian faculty as the Ministry of Higher Education and Research has given me the title of Expert in International Relations and Law.
Tunisia has become a tree of opportunities in many fields because it is a new democracy which means it is a new state. The democratization gives us or makes us avoid what the dictators have practiced interference in any economic or business fields.
What kinds of opportunities have risen in the MENA region?
After we’ve had the revolution in 2011, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has become a higher priority for the Tunisian state. Although there are some problems of security that I will be talking about at the conference, Tunisia has become a tree of opportunities in many fields because it is a new democracy which means it is a new state. The democratization gives us or makes us avoid what the dictators have practiced interference in any economic or business fields. Thanks to this new visibility, today we can affirm that the renewable is very important for us and for Europe because we are about 30 minutes by flight from Sicily or the South of Europe and an hour flight from Rome. It’s very close and it can be beneficial for Europe and Tunisia.
I will suggest some key ideas that can lead to a successful exploitation for the renewable which is, I think, a shared opportunity between Tunisia and Europe.
Are there any challenges you are currently facing in the region? What should the ‘newcomer’s look out for?
We are issuing a transparency law and a new code of investment. The transparency was in October 2016. The code of investment, which was in March 2016, comes to 25 articles instead of 75 articles just to make the investor comfortable. The newcomer should look out for the renewable. As of the 14th of December 2016, the Minister of Energy, in a meeting with some German experts, put the target that we will have at least 30% of energy coming from the renewable energy.
We are also, with Europe, a victim of security problems. We react to that with many texts and actions. Today, there are institutions that are part working because the democratization takes time to take off. There are social issues and we have a solution for this. At present, we are giving much more importance to regions. All these issues are managed by administrative, juridical or legal texts. These texts include fast-track for big projects like for energy projects, the investment is guaranteed by international standards, there is a protection of intellectual property; there are many fiscal incentives when you invest in the marginalized regions etc….. In the last summit of investors, 29th and 30th of November, we had 1,000 foreign participants who wanted to invest in Tunisia. This means that the efforts that we did during those two years were mainly successful in coping with different challenges.
Any chance you can give us a preview of the topic you’ll address at COMRISK: "Managing the risks in emerging markets or emerging products”?
I can’t say much because I don’t want to ruin the surprise but I will discuss about managing the risks in the MENA region, and in particular to emphasize the word risk. I will clarify what forms of markets we have today for the renewables, what are the opportunities and what would be the deal of the century for investors to come to Tunisia. It will be an unprecedented suggestion. The delegates attending the conference can look on Google or any other documents and they will not be able to find the suggestions I will be talking about.
Let us know!
Linkedin: Commodities People
Zouheir Touiti. Holder a Master’s Degree in Public Law, the thesis of which is " The Legal Arrangements Governing The Oil and Gas Tunisian Contracts"; has a License in English Language and Civilization and certificate from German academy as Arab Policy Makers in Higher Education and Sciences, mainly in Oil industry. He works as deputy manager of Research of New Opportunities in Oil and Gas in the Tunisian National Oil Company. He is in charge of the Negotiation, Analysis and Drafting of Petroleum Agreements and Contracts of Gas Sale and Purchase as well as other related Agreements (Downstream; midstream & upstream Operations). He is also the Chief negotiator of the committee responsible of discussing new opportunities in Tunisia. Beside this, I’m also teaching investment contracts and business law in the Tunisian faculty as the Ministry of Higher Education and Research has given me the title of Expert in International Relations and Law.
Moreover, he actively participates in many international conferences on Oil and Gas, among the main recent ones are:
Workshop “Certificate in International Commercial and Investment Arbitration: Theory and Practice” was organized in partnership with the International Chamber, Italian Association of Arbitration and Milan Chamber of Association; Rome-Italy 21-25 September 2015.
International Conference “5th IEL-SEERIL International Oil and Gas Law Conference” organized by International Bar Association (IBA), Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) and Institute for Energy Law (IEL); London- UK 3-5 June 2015.
International Conference “Arbitration and the alternatives means of Conflict Resolution” organized by the Conciliation and Arbitration Centre; Tunis-Tunisia 29-30 May 2015.
He is also qualified as Expert in the Tunisian Universities to teach International Investment Contracts. He is also Expert in Contemporary Civilizations and International Relations; has written numerous articles, posted on his personal website, such as “The Perspectives of the Post- revolutionary Tunisia,” “The Role of Regions in the New Tunisia,” and “Religious Rapprochement”; Has participated in various international conferences on international relations and cultural dialogue ; has taught a wide array of courses.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
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