Carthage — The recent four-nation tour of Sub-Saharan Africa which took Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki to Mali, Niger, Chad and Gabon reflected keenness to increase Tunisia's political and economic presence in the continent, said Economic Adviser of the President of the Republic Anis Jaziri.
Tunisia concluded, during this trip, 35 cooperation agreements in geology, health, higher education, protection of the environment, tourism, agriculture and handicrafts, he said Saturday at a news conference in Carthage.
About one hundred Tunisian businessmen and delegates of economic organisations and enterprises accompanied President Marzouki on this tour.
At each stop, an economic forum was held; it brought together Tunisian economic actors in the public and private sectors and their counterparts from Mali, Niger, Chad and Gabon, the official reminded.
Tunisia and the four African countries agreed in principle to sign preferential treatment accords which will entitle Tunisian enterprises to benefit from customs exemptions on exportation, Jaziri indicated.
A monitoring committee will be set up at the Foreign Ministry to follow up the implementation of concluded agreements, he announced.
The body is made up of representatives of the Presidency of the Republic, the Foreign Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), the Tunisian Agriculture and Fishing Union (UTAP) and the Exports Promotion Centre.
With their recently discovered riches, Tunisia ought to have its place in Mali, Niger, Chad and Gabon, Jaziri pointed out.
In turn, Spokesperson for the Presidency of the Republic Adnane Mansar said Marzouki's African tour also focused on security.
Tunisia's security and political coordination with African countries is dictated by security issues in the Sahel and southern Sahara region.
"Only economic and social development can stamp out terrorism," he said quoting the Caretaker President in his talks with African leaders.