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US Ambassador in Tunisia visits companies to show US support for local economic development

U.S. Ambassador in Tunisia Joey Hood traveled to Sousse and Monastir July 27-28. During his visit, he met with local government officials, IT and business innovators, entrepreneurs, farmers, alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, and other beneficiaries of U.S. assistance. He underscored the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting private sector growth through entrepreneurship and adapting to climate change.

During his trip, Ambassador Hood met with the Governor of Sousse, Nabil Ferjami, and the Governor of Monastir, Mondher Ben Sik Ali, to learn about their goals for the local economy as well as the region’s economic strengths and possible areas for future collaboration. He also visited the Sousse Probation Office. As part of the Embassy’s long-standing partnership with the Ministry of Justice, the Embassy provided support to create this program, which offers alternatives to incarceration to help rehabilitate prisoners, as well as reduce recidivism and prison overcrowding.

In Sousse, Ambassador Hood met with students at the Ministry of Agriculture’s training center in Chott Meriem and visited a cutting-edge hydroponic greenhouse, the first of its kind in Tunisia. The soilless greenhouse, funded by the U.S. government, uses 90% less water, doubles yield, and produces healthier crops of lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and strawberries. The Ambassador toured Novation City, an innovative IT, business, and industrial hub, and met with business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. He also engaged in a spirited discussion with alumni of U.S. government-funded programs from the region, including founders of local startups and community leaders working to advance opportunities for Sousse.

In Monastir, Ambassador Hood visited local textile companies Yousstex International and Yousstex Wash, which have benefited from U.S. government assistance to improve their efficiency. These companies are two examples of the more than 49,000 Tunisian small businesses nationwide with which the U.S. government has worked to increase sales by more than $610 million, expand exports by more than $243 million, secure $280 million in new loans, attract $137 million in investment, and create more than 56,000 new jobs. The Ambassador spoke at the closing ceremony of the Jeunes Leaders Association’s Student 4 Change Project, an Embassy-sponsored program that has trained 250 university students across Tunisia on how to start their own businesses and has led to the creation of 26 student-run businesses, more than 60% of which are led by female students. The Ambassador also visited the historic Bourguiba Palace and conducted an interview on Jawhara FM and TV with Walid Besbes.

Ambassador Hood’s visit to Sousse and Monastir is one of the many initiatives of the U.S. Embassy Tunis to promote greater cooperation and strengthen ties between Tunisians and Americans, including businesses, cultural, and educational institutions aimed at inclusive economic growth, investment, and prosperity.


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