Qatari-Tunisian meet to help boost trade volume
15 Nov 2017 - 0:26
The Qatari-Tunisian economic forum, opened here yesterday, in a bid to boost trade and investment between the countries. The event saw participation of a large number of Qatari businessmen apart from some 130 prominent Tunisian businessmen led by Tunisian Minister of Commerce Omar El Bahi.
The forum aims at strengthening the bilateral partnership between both countries and opening new horizons of cooperation so as to boost bilateral trade volume.
A number of agreements were signed between Qatari and Tunisian entities on the sideline of the forum. The two-day forum is expected to witness the signing of more partnerships between Qatari and Tunisian companies, which boosts the imports and exports of both countries.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani (pictured), Qatar Chamber Chairman affirmed that ties between Qatar and Tunisia constitute a model for strong relations, noting that the mutual visits between both leaderships have boosted the relations towards more development in the past few years, which reflected on the economic cooperation between them.
He said that the Qatar’s investment value in Tunisia over the last few years has exceeded $1bn in the tourism, communications, financial sectors and others.
He praised the Qatar Friendship Fund of Tunisia which was established in 2013 in aim to provide funding for the youth and help them in different phases of the designing and implementing of projects. So far, it has funded almost 900 projects across Tunisia and helped in creating nearly 6,000 job opportunities for youth in Tunisia.
Al Thani stressed that the trade exchange between both countries witnessed an increasing growth over the last few years, valued at nearly $146m in 2016. He expressed hope for more diverse products to be traded between both countries so as to attain trade volume aspired by both the countries.
He also said the projects in Qatar continues to expand despite the ongoing siege with increased the local production and new facilities to local and foreign investors to develop the industry sectors. So, Tunisian firms have more opportunities to establish alliances with Qatari companies to create new industry and production projects.
For his part, El Bahi said the forum reflects the keenness of both sides to expand economic and trade ties to higher levels that would allow them to employ their capacities and open new horizons for partnership. This would in turn enhance and boost bilateral cooperation and step up the pace of trade exchange between Tunisia and Qatar.
El Bahi said that Tunisia has initiated a number of mechanisms to improve trade by adopting a high level of transparency, facilitating banking procedures and diversifying the structure of Tunisian exports such as foods, automotive parts, electronics and services. In addition, the country has worked to improve its investment legislation by issuing the investment law that was enforced in April in order to cope with the new investment environment in the country.
Aziza Hatira, president and director general of the Tunisian Export Promotion Center (CEPEX), said that the participating Tunisian delegation in includes industrial, agricultural, construction materials, shipping services, pharmaceutical industry, education and training, cosmetics, cleaning products and other fields. She revealed that the trade volume between Qatar and Tunisia witnessed an increase of 3.5 percent during the first nine months of the current year, to reach QR39.7m, where Tunisia exported to Qatar products worth QR 24.8m in that period. She explained that these figures are still less than that aspirated by both the countries.