11 April 2014

Tunisia: Ways to Promote Tunisia-UK Cooperation in Industry,Energy Discussed

Tunis — Strengthening business ties between Tunisia and the United Kingdom was the focus of a breakfast debate held by the Tunisian-British Chamber of Commerce, Friday morning in Tunis. The debate was chaired by Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines Kamel Ben Naceur.

The minister stated that the current government is working on accelerating the implementation of industrial zones so as to attract more investments and launch industrial projects.

"We are working with our European partners to have a better management of these industrial zones," he indicated.

The Industry Ministry is also making considerable efforts "to win back the confidence of national and international investors which has been lost over the last few years," Ben Naceur said, adding that his department works on fighting corruption and ensuring transparency in the industry field.

Ben Naceur urged British companies to carry out joint discussions with the UTICA and the Tunisian-British Chamber of Commerce when confronted with social problems.

During the Cabinet meeting held Thursday in Tunis under the chairmanship of interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, Ben Naceur indicated that a focus was placed on the need to protect "production tools" of British companies settled in Tunisia.

He stressed that the government stands firm against strikes observed for no particular reason, adding "no work, no pay."

In a statement to TAP news agency, Ben Naceur said to attract more foreign investments in the country, Tunisian business delegations have been "very active" in holding various meetings with their counterparts in neighbouring countries (Algeria, Morocco...) and elsewhere in the world about investment opportunities. "There is an increase in the number of foreign investment requests," he added.

On the other hand, The Minister urged British economic operators to invest in Tunisia on the long run.

The meeting was attended by British ambassador to Tunisia Hamish Cowell as well as a group of businessmen from major oil and gas companies in Tunisia, including British Gas, Petrofac, Vivo Energy.

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