Tunis — President of the Algerian-Tunisian Joint Chamber (CMTA) Moncef Othmani called for the creation of a mutual fund to boost investment in the two countries and the establishment of a bilateral regulatory framework conductive to business creation.
Mr. Othmani, who addressed a workshop held on Monday in the Exporter House, under the theme: "Tunisian-Algerian Partnership: Opportunities and Implementation Methods," recommended drawing up an initial list of "feasible" projects in both countries to encourage Tunisian and Algerian companies to invest there.
He also stressed the need to give guarantees to the two countries' investors and further boost the Tunisian-Algerian co-operation.
The point is to strengthen partnership between Maghreb countries and make the Arab Maghreb an investment site able to attract both Maghreb and foreign businessmen, he said.
The Algerian official reviewed the business opportunities offered in his country likely to attract Tunisian investors.
These opportunities can be found, particularly, in the areas of industry and automotive assembly, pharmaceutics, construction, electricity and ICT, in addition to food and fishing industries.
The number of Tunisian companies based in Algeria ranges between 70 and 80, said Mr. Riadh Ben Zargua, Director of the Tunisian trade representation office in Algeria, coming under the Exports Promotion Centre (CEPEX).
Algeria imports 80% of its needs from Tunisia, hence the need to boost investment in Algeria, he added.
Mr. Ben Zarga said the Tunisian trade representation office seeks to include Algeria's inland regions in investment.
To this effect, a delegation of Tunisian businessmen operating in food industry will visit the regions of Bejaia and Tizi Ouzou (Northeast of Algeria) during the second half of 2012, he added.
Another visit for the benefit of Tunisian companies, operating in automotive assembly is also scheduled to the cities of Constantine and Ain m'lila (eastern Algeria), he pointed out.
It should be noted that 25 Tunisian companies specialised in the building sector visited the city of Oran (western Algeria) during the first half of 2012.
According to data presented at this meeting, Tunisian exports to Algeria reached 243.1 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) in the first four months of 2012, i.e. up 19.2% compared to the same period of 2011.
As to Tunisia's imports from Algeria, they reached 287.9 (MTD) in the first four months of 2012, down 2.9% compared to the same period of 2011.
Statistics on bilateral exchanges to late 2011 show that energy products and lubricants account for almost 87.16% of Tunisia's overall imports from Algeria, while electronic and mechanical industries represent 42.10% of Tunisia's total exports to Algeria.