UTSA International Trade Center to conduct small-business training in Tunisia

Tunisia

Tataouine, Tunisia
(Photo: Photos Blog: Tunisia city best photography)

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(May 21, 2013) -- The International Trade Center in the UTSA Institute of Economic Development is collaborating with the United States and Tunisian governments to conduct its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Tunisia. The training series will help Tunisia establish SBDCs to support business owners and entrepreneurs, many of whom are women and young adults.

The UTSA training is one part of an overarching initiative that aims to strengthen Tunisia's economic cooperation with the United States and improve its prospects for sustainable economic growth. That initiative, funded and led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supports the 2002 U.S.-Tunisia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and President Obama's Middle East North Africa Trade and Investment Partnership.

UTSA and USAID are among a handful of partners that will provide SBDC training in Tunisia and technical assistance to the owners and employees of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Additional partners include Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance and International Executive Service Corp.

Tunisia, North Africa's smallest country, is working to build its fledgling democracy after the 2011 revolution, which inspired the Arab Spring and resulted in the overthrow of then President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Tunisia is bordered by Algeria, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.

"Tunisia is eager to promote economic growth and trade opportunities, particularly among small- and medium-sized businesses," said Cliff Paredes, director of the UTSA International Trade Center. Both Paredes and Monica Alcoz, UTSA senior international business consultant, are working with Tunisia.

"For a decade, we have been working with countries in Central and South America that have had similar goals. We expect this partnership to be similarly beneficial for Tunisia as it pursues democratic reform and a strengthened economy," Paredes added.

The International Trade Center at UTSA is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in Texas. It helps companies become globally competitive through technical trade consulting, customized market research and innovative training programs. The center is a specialty SBDC program in the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network. Follow it on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like it on Facebook (Facebook.com/texastrade).

>> Learn more about the Tunisian project at SBDCGlobal.com.