Minister of Development, Investment and International Co-operation Zied Laadhari and Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Organisation (IsDB) Hani Salem Sonbol discussed at a meeting Monday in Tunis the possibility of renewing the framework agreement signed between Tunisia and ITFC, on the occasion of IsDB annual meetings to be held in Tunis in early April.The two officials reviewed the opportunities to strengthen cooperation between Tunisia and ITFC in the coming period.They called for mobilising all available means and mechanisms to develop and diversify this partnership, like the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS) and the Arab-Africa Trade Bridge.
Foreign Minister Khemais Jhinaoui, who is visiting Brussels on Monday, said that 2018 will be a very important year for partnership between Tunisia and the European Union. A partnership which, he said, has reached “a maturity” reflected in particular by the move to “a higher level of the EU’s commitment to Tunisia” and the launching of a reflection on the future of post-2020 relations, which requires “a renewed, more inclusive partnership based on common democratic values”. The minister said he had discussed with Ms. Mogherini EU financial support to Tunisia in particular regarding the release of the second tranche of the 150 million Euro macro-financial assistance.He also said that Tunisia and the EU have agreed to move to a higher level in terms of mobility and exchanges between young people and strengthening programmes for Tunisian youth. We have, he explained, examined the possibilities of implementing new initiatives dedicated to youth such as Erasmus + for young entrepreneurs and Erasmus + for young apprentices.
French President Emmanuel Macron will make a state visit to Tunisia on Wednesday (January 31) and Thursday (February 1), at the invitation of his counterpart Beji Caïd Essebsi. This is his first trip to Tunisia since he took office in May 2017.The French President, who will be accompanied by many personalities, ministers, parliamentarians, officials of the French Development Agency (AFD), academics and businessmen, will deliver a message of encouragement to the process of economic and democratic transition in Tunisia, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this visit, Macron will have meetings with President Beji Caïd Essebsi, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) Mohamed Ennaceur. Defense, security, economy, education, higher education, culture and the situation in the region, especially in Libya are all topics that will be discussed during this visit, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A series of co-operation agreements will also be signed between the two countries.
At the centre of the Tunisian-Saudi business council meeting we have the direct investment between Tunisia and Saudi Arabia and the possibility of developing joint investments as a strategic option that helps to penetrate other foreign markets Several Tunisian and Saudi business leaders took part in the meeting, both sides also addressed issues relating to the common concerns of economic operators in both countries. In particular, they noted that obstacles still hinder economic cooperation between the two countries and proposed to strengthen the awareness-raising and promotion activities of the two countries’ products. Mohamed Kooli, chairman of the Tunisian side of the business council who chaired the meeting jointly with Souleiman El Airi, chairman of the Saudi side, stressed in his speech that Tunisian-Saudi Arabian economic relations have not yet reached the excellent level of political relations and friendly relations between the two countries, emphasising the importance of intensifying the visits of businessmen from both countries to explore the opportunities of important investment opportunities for investors in multiple fields in both Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. For his part, El Airi said that Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to Saudi investments in Tunisia, adding that many Saudi projects have been carried out in Tunisia since the 1970s. He stressed that Saudi businessmen aspire to make new investments in Tunisia.
The Interior Ministry reported the arrest of six individuals in the delegation of Sidi Ali Ben Aoun, governorate of Sidi Bouzid for incitement to terrorism. Their age is between 21 and 27 years old, and these individuals are suspected of belonging to a “takfirist” cell of 9 members.The suspects pledged allegiance to the terrorist organization “Daesh” and confessed their continued contact with terrorist elements in Libya and Syria. They held secret meetings in a mosque in the area to encourage young people to join terrorist groups in conflict zones.
Ways to boost bilateral co-operation in the field of social protection and the activation of the Tunisian-Algerian jont co-operation commission in this area were discussed at a working meeting held Monday between Minister of Social Affairs Mohamed Trabelsi and Algerian Minister of National Solidarity, Family and Women’s Affairs Ghania Eddalia.Trabelsi expressed his department’s willingness to boost joint action programmes to fight certain social phenomena.He called for proposing practical initiatives to face poverty and marginalization particularly in boarder regions. Trabelsi also reviewed Tunisia’s overall approach in fighting poverty along with the principal programmes and social intervention for the benefit of special needs and limited income groups. The Algerian Minister expressed her country’s commitment to boost co-operation in social protection with Tunisia through sharing experiences, expertise and visits to ensure the success of joint work and improve living conditions of needy families in both countries.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) will make available to Tunisia 1,140 Million Dinars (MD) intended to support the State budget in 2018 and finance some projects in sanitation, electricity and integrated agricultural development in Zaghouan and strengthening the private sector.This amount was revealed at a meeting between Tunisian Minister of Development, Investment and International Co-operation Ziad Ladhari and AfDB Vice President, Regional Development, Integration & Business Delivery Khaled Sherif on Monday.The meeting focused on future areas of co-operation between the two parties, including industrial development, support for private investment and strengthening public-private partnership.Co-operation between Tunisia and AfDB had focused on the sectors of agriculture, communication technologies, infrastructure, education and budget support with financing totaling 1,200 MD in 2017.
Turkish Eximbank has financed Tunisian-Turkish textile projects in Tunisia worth US $ 20 million. Speaking at the forum of textile co-operation between Tunisia and Turkey, the ambassador pointed out that the textile sector employs 165 thousand people, adding that the funds allocated by “Turk Exim Bank “will bring the number of jobs in Tunisia up to more than 20 thousand positions.He said Turkey is a strategic partner of Tunisia and will help increase its exports. “We hope that Tunisia will become an exporter of ready-to-wear clothing”.He added that textile is a key and promising sector to boost the economy, recalling its important role in increasing Turkish exports. He pointed out that the participation of 20 Turkish textile manufacturers, officials of the Turkish, Ministry of Commerce and a delegation of the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association (ITHIB) reflects Turkey’s willingness to establish a platform for co-operation between the Tunisian and Turkish parties in the sector and to invest in Tunisia. For his part, vice-president of the Tunisian Federation of Textile and Clothing (FTTH), Nafaa Neifer recalled that the textile sector has faced several difficulties in recent years, despite its importance in the development of the economy and its ranking at the top of the list of exports.He stressed that Turkish companies will have to consider Tunisia as a destination for investment, job creation and exchange of experiences and not as a market only, calling for developing co-operation in the field of textile spinning and fabrics in Tunisia.He emphasised the need to attract investment, particularly in the fields of textiles, technical textiles and textile spinning, stressing the importance of developing the sector, creativity and research in order to achieve added value.
The Security units in Nabeul have managed, during the past weekend, to arrest 26 offenders including 11 involved in vandalism committed during the unrest recorded in recent days in the region. According to a security source, the suspects, aged between 15 and 21, were involved in acts of vandalism and looting perpetrated during the late night protest movements in several governorate towns.
Social discontent is rising in Tunisia. Yesterday, clashes between protesters and law enforcement broke out in several parts of the country. One is death in circumstances still unknown in Tebourba, south of Tunis, several wounded and 44 arrests including 16 in Kasserine, a town in western Tunisia near the border with Algeria. In addition several public buildings were damaged during these clashes. At the origin of this wave of protest, the adoption of the 2018 finance law by a clear majority by the Tunisian parliament last December.