Two co-operation agreements between the General Confederation of Enterprises of Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Confederation of Tunisian Citizen Enterprises (CONECT) were signed on Monday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on the occasion of the Tunisian-Ivorian Economic Forum.
The agreements, signed by Kais Sellami, representing UTICA and Tarek Cherif, President of CONECT, on the Tunisian side and Alain Kouadio, President of CGECI, on the Ivorian side, aim to foster partnership between the two countries’ companies and establish a Tunisian-Ivorian joint business council.
Nearly 80 Tunisian and 100 Ivorian business leaders took part in the Tunisian-Ivorian Economic Forum which was attended by Prime Minister Habib Essid.
Trade between Tunisia and Côte d’Ivoire has increased by 29% over the last five years, Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan told reporters.
He expressed the need to draw on the Tunisian experience, particularly in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT), banks, tourism, building and housing.
“Tunisia can build on its co-operation with Côte d’Ivoire to open to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and to the West African Economic and Monetary Union which brings together 51 states.
CEO of the Tunisian Export Promotion Centre (CEPEX), Aziza Htira told reporters nearly 70 Tunisian and Ivorian companies are taking part in this forum.
They operate in 10 areas, including building, studies, health, higher education and tourism, she added, noting that the forum helps open prospects for investment and promote the business environment in both countries.
Tunisia is very interested in Côte d’Ivoire, a country with high growth standing as a gateway to an African market with more than 300 million consumers, also said Htira.
Director General of the Export Promotion Agency of Côte d’Ivoire, Guy M’Bengue said Ivorian development programs are based on industrialization.
“The choice of Tunisia is prompted by its competitiveness in the area of processing high value added products,” noted the Ivorian official.