Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tunisia Looks Forward to Enter African Markets

Tunisia Looks Forward to Enter African Markets

Friday, 5 January, 2018 - 06:45
A general view shows a shipping container area at the port of Halk al-Wad, in Tunis February 19, 2013.REUTERS/Anis Mili

The Tunisian Export Promotion Centre (government center) has developed an economic program called “Turbo Africa” to boost the country's investments in Africa.

The initiative aims at increasing the geographical presence of the center’s offices in the African countries, with the participation of diplomatic representatives, specialized associations and the private sector. In its first phase, the initiative will target Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and the Congo, said Aziza Hatira, president of the Center.

The center is looking forward to opening an office soon this year to promote Tunisian exports in the Cameroonian capital of Douala, and in Kinshasa, Congo.

The office will provide the necessary information on investment opportunities in African markets and help Tunisian investors to explore this promising market.

Trade between Tunisia and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) does not exceed 1% of Tunisia's foreign trade, but the country works hard to join this group and promote joint trade.

"Tunisia has no embassies or diplomatic relations except with a few African countries," warns Karim Ben Kalaha, Tunisian economist, stressing the need to develop foreign relations to enhance exports’ marketing.

The expert also pointed to the need for opening branches of Tunisian banks in a number of African countries so they can provide support to Tunisian investors, and launching direct flights to the black continent’s countries as well.

Despite the efforts made several years ago to develop trade between Tunisia and Africa, and raise export quotas, the volume of these exchanges did not exceed 700 million Tunisian dinars (about 282 million dollars) over the past year.

Through “Turbo Tunisia”, the country hopes to increase trade exchanges to at least $1 billion by 2020.

Editor Picks