List News    News

Tunisian-Egyptian Investment and Partnership Forum: commitment to increase low volume of trade

Published the:  12/11/2017

| Share

(TAP Correspondent Ayda Hicheri) – Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called for the intensification of meetings between economic actors from Tunisia and Egypt, to lend a listening ear to their concerns and work together to iron difficulties hindering their activities.

During the presentation with his Egyptian counterpart Sherif Ismail of the outcome of the Tunisian-Egyptian investment and economic partnership forum, he said despite the privileged relations between Tunisia and Egypt, economic relations, especially commercial, have not reached the expected level despite the opportunities offered by two countries’ economies, on the one hand and the legal framework conducive to the promotion of commercial relations, on the other hand. These include free trade, the executive programme of the Arab Free Trade Zone and the Arab-Mediterranean Free Trade Agreement (Agadir Agreement).

"The privileges granted by this complementary and rich framework have not been well exploited so far," he said, stressing the need to work to continue efforts to achieve the desired goals.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the importance of focusing the efforts of all stakeholders, including the Tunisian-Egyptian Joint Economic Chamber and the two export promotion centres in both countries, on development, diversification and expansion of the trading base.

He recalled, in this regard, the measures decided by Tunisia to free its economy from all obstacles and give it a fresh impetus by opening up to the outside world, expressing the hope that the Egyptian participation in the investment projects in Tunisia will be consolidated.

For his part, the Egyptian Prime Minister reviewed Egypt's steps to improve the investment climate and boost partnership between the public and private sectors through a package of legislative and institutional measures to reduce bureaucracy and boost foreign investment in all areas.

"It is time to promote economic relations with the Tunisian brothers and give priority to the national private sector and businessmen of both countries to participate in the financing of commercial operations, investment and joint industrialisation", underlined Sherif Ismail.

He considered that the regional and international situation requires the greatest consultation between Tunisia and Egypt in all political and economic fields.

Ismail argued for making the most of the legal and legislative frameworks in both countries that encourage investment.

He hoped for complementarity between the countries’ industries by activating the industrial councils formed in Tunisia and Egypt in the sectors of the automotive components and electronic and electrical industries.

For her part, the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr spoke about the positive results achieved in the implementation of joint economic programmes since the joint ministerial commission in 2015 and the intensification meetings between the economic actors of the two countries in order to activate the bilateral agreements.

"Tunisia will be the first country to benefit from the new Egyptian investment programme and incentives issued in accordance with the assurances reaffirmed at the Tunisian-Egyptian investment and economic partnership forum held Saturday in Cairo, in the presence of the Tunisian Minister of Trade Omar Behi and delegations of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Egyptian employers’ organisation,” she said.

For his part, Omar Behi said that the forum focused on intensifying contacts between businessmen, the flow of goods, the reactivation of the joint Economic Chamber and the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on investment opportunities and industrial complementarity.

The forum also agreed to implement the memorandum of understanding between the stock exchanges and has made progress in negotiating a memorandum of understanding between the two countries’ central banks, in addition to the exchange of experiences in the development of the industrial sector and the supervision of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Minister of Commerce also reported the discussion of various aspects of co-operation in the transport, renewable energy, youth and sport, health and vocational training sectors through a set of memoranda of understanding to be signed at the end of the work of the Tunisian-Egyptian High Joint Commission.

Omar Behi pointed to the low volume of trade between Tunisia and Egypt, estimated at 250 million dinars only, saying that the goal is to increase it to 600 million dinars.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed began a two-day visit to Cairo on Saturday to take part with his Egyptian counterpart in the 16th session of the Tunisian-Egyptian High Joint Commission.