My recent visit to Tunisia was really an eye opener. The task was to promote the World Congress of Accountants which MIA will be hosting next year. The opportunity came when I was invited to attend the 11 International Conference organised by the Orde des Experts Comptables de Tunisie or the Tunisian Institute of Chartered Accountants (OECT).
Firstly, Tunisia, although is a country where 95% of the population are Muslims, is really French at heart and soul. Most bright and brilliant Tunisians would go to France to further their education. French is widely spoken although Arabic is also used intermittently.
Secondly, given the historical background of Tunisia, the Tunisian society is very tolerant given that most are mixed-blood. They are proud of being at the crossroad of civilisation, between developing Africa and matured Europe.
Thirdly, Tunisia is blessed with beautiful landscape and the Mediterranean climate. The sea is blue and clear, strategically positioned to welcome tourists from Europe and other African countries, as a very competitive cost.
Like any other developing country, Tunisia is having the challenge of retaining its best brains. Given its proximity to Europe and low cost of living, smart and brilliant Tunisians see Europe as their green pasture instead of remaining at home. This also creates opportunities for knowledge-based business like Business Process Outsourcing as well as developing further its tourism industry.
My presentation about the World Congress of Accountants was well received. I hope hugh number of Tunisians would be in KL next year. We could also use that opportunity to create more business linkages with this land which is at the crossroad of civilisation.