The Tunisian-Egyptian Economic Forum kicked off on Thursday at the headquarters of the Export Promotion Center in the Tunisian capital.
Tunis and Cairo expressed common desire to value the major available capabilities and opportunities to increase the volume of trade exchange, diversify its base and develop the partnership to live up to the aspirations and goals of the two countries.
The event was held under the auspices of Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden and her counterpart Mostafa Madbouly, who is currently on an official visit to Tunis.
Trade exchange between the two countries dropped to $330 million in 2021, data released in the forum showed.
The total investments were estimated at $570 million by the end of 2020, which were allocated to finance 42 economic projects.
These figures are below the expectations, given the huge investment opportunities available between the two countries.
Bouden called for unifying efforts and working together to further enhance the existing cooperation.
She underscored the importance of the legal framework that regulates the bilateral economic relations, noting that it is one of the best frameworks both countries have concluded with their economic partners.
The PM further underlined both governments’ key role to improve the business environment, facilitate the movement of economic actors, the flow of goods, and the rapid intervention to overcome all obstacles that might hinder the access of commodities and products to the Egyptian and Tunisian markets.
Madbouly, for his part, hailed the key role played by the forum and the Egyptian-Tunisian Higher Committee meetings to integrate public and private sector efforts and raise the level of bilateral ties in the fields of trade exchange, cooperation and investment partnership in all economic activities.
He called for establishing an immediate mechanism to issue visas for Tunisian businessmen, affirming that there are no restrictions on their movement between Tunisia and Egypt.
Tunisian businessmen are welcomed in Egypt, Madbouly stressed.
He pointed out that trade exchange indicators have dropped during the past two years due to the global health crisis, stressing the need to double the figures soon.