30 April 2014

Tunisia: Reinvigorating Tunisian-French Economic Cooperation On Basis of Complementarity - PM

Tunis — "Tunisia is seeking to energise economic cooperation with France, on the basis of complementarity," interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said on Wednesday, at a news conference held in the VIP lounge of the Tunis Carthage airport.

Wrapping up an official visit to France on April 28-29, Jomaa highlighted that "bilateral partnerships were given renewed impetus."

The Premier was accompanied by several ministers and a delegation of businessmen led by President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA).

The visit helped lay the ground for bilateral relations driven by shared development, the Premier added.

The two countries agreed to organise an economic conference in Tunisia to draw investments and "speed up the pace of Tunisian economic transition."

The event is set for this summer and will be followed by other conferences to ensure follow-up and implementation of decisions and agreements.

Jomaa underlined that senior French officials, notably President Hollande and Premier Manuel Valls, reiterated support for the Tunisian experience.

The "visit was an opportunity to convey another image of new Tunisia through the promotion of tourism and send clear messages to draw French tourists."

Answering TAP question on ways to promote Tunisia's image bearing in mind shortcomings in terms of cleanliness, the Premier said that Tunisia's tourist image heavily depends on the promotion of environment and urged citizens to back national efforts.

He also called for "moving the from wait-and-see attitude to action."

Information and communication information technologies are the backbone of the agreement inked by the Tunisian and French higher education ministries on the creation of a business incubator, Jomaa indicated. This will help generate new jobs, particularly for higher-education graduates.

In another connection, Jomaa announced that Tunisia will receive shortly new equipment from France to help the Tunisian Army protect borders and fight terrorism.

Technical cooperation and equipment were also discussed, he said.

Jomaa underlined, in this respect, that "stability will be restored to Tunisia which is getting back to optimal activity."

Besides, the interim Prime Minister said he met with several members of the Tunisian community in France who expressed willingness to back Tunisia through investment and the creation of projects nationwide.

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