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Tuesday 15 June 2021
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Tunisia: Chinese entrepreneurs get acquainted with Tunisia

After participating in the Fair of Algiers, where their number had surpassed for the first time, that of French companies, Chinese enterprises , particularly those operating in the rich province of Shanghai, have joined Tunis for a week visit . With impressions rather mixed, the majority of the representatives of these companies were surprised over “ dynamism observed in Tunisia”, as stated by  Chen Wei, the translator accompanying the delegation during its visit to Tunisia ,
 A Tunisia-China Investment and Trade Forum was held, on Monday in Tunis, to examine the development of co-operation between Tunisia and the Chinese province of Shanghai.
In his opening address, Secretary of State in charge of International Co-operation and Foreign Investment Abdelhamid Triki said Tunisia and China have been tied for 60 years by an economic co- operation which is more and more diversified.
He specified that these bilateral relations are governed by 23 agreements covering the diplomatic, economic, financial, technical, scientific and judicial fields.
China is Tunisia’s major Asian partner at the economic level, in particular in matters of trade exchanges. The total volume of exchanges between the two countries went from 210 million dinars in 2001 up to 1200 million dinars in 2008.
Mr. Triki pointed out that bilateral co-operation in matters of investment and partnership is rather very limited.
Actually, Tunisia has only 6 Tunisian-Chinese joint ventures out of a total of nearly 3,000 foreign companies.
Those ventures which, which employ 390 persons, operate in the industrial sector (4) and services (2).
For his part, China’s ambassador in Tunis Li Beifen said the economic forum aims to boost Tunisian-Chinese co-operation in trade and investment fields, notably in the region of Shanghai which is the biggest city in China.
Shanghai Deputy Mayor in charge of economic and trade exchanges Tang Dengjie pointed out, in turn, that this forum will provide an opportunity to identity new exchange opportunities between Tunisia and the city of Shanghai.
Papers on business environment in Tunisia and its investment opportunities were on the agenda of this forum which was organized by the Development and International Co- operation Ministry and the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA), with the assistance of the Tunisian-Chinese Friendship Association.
The event was attended by 120 economic decision-makers from both countries. Meetings between Chinese and Tunisian businessmen also took place.
 Chinese businessmen, as noted by the interpreter of the delegation, do not practically know Tunisia, and that is what we in our turn observed after some discussions we had with some of them. The majority of these entrepreneurs speak few languages besides their own one,  which would have made things more difficult without the help of translators who were present in great numbers at the event. But,  opportunities for partnership with Tunisian companies are really promising. In addition to those involved in international trade, many companies are specialized in chemical, agricultural machinery, textile and clothing industry, metal industry, automotive electronics, electronic control systems, communication and ICT ….

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