Building a new partnership and economic and social complementarity between Tunisia and Libya are the main objective of the Tunisian-Libyan industrial forum, whose first edition is held from 23 to 27 November 2021 in Tunis.
This goal will be achieved through the elimination of obstacles hindering trade between the two countries, and identifying solutions that will create new opportunities for Libyan industries at local, Arab and international levels, said Chairman of the Forum’s Preparatory Committee Abdessalem Ferjani.
An improvement has been noted in terms of trade between the two countries in 2021. bilateral trade reached 1568 million dinars (MD) at the end of October 2021, against 1420 MD in 2020.
In this regard, representative of the Libyan Ministry of Economy and Trade Nouri Ali Mohamed stressed that this event will be an opportunity to identify new economic programmes to enable the two countries to meet the challenges they face.
These programmes will target the transition to a digital economy, support for the private sector and the establishment of attributes of sustainable development, according to the official.
For his part, Libyan Minister of Industry and Minerals, Ahmed Abu Hisa said that his country targets first a real economic complementarity with Tunisia, which (complementarity) will then involve other neighboring countries.
For the Minister, this complementarity has the main objective of enabling countries in the region to capture markets in Africa, East Asia and South America, which can be accessed only through regional economic groupings.
“We have all the human, financial and natural resources to achieve this economic complementarity, and even the political will that was previously absent,” said the Libyan official, adding that this will is now demonstrated by both states.
However, Abu Hissa called for the revision of some laws to respect the principle of equal treatment in the entry of goods and services in the two states. This principle is the pillar of economic complementarity, he said.
Reacting to Abu Hissa’s remarks, Minister of Trade and Export Development, Fadhila Rebhi noted that Tunisia will further facilitate the flow of goods at Ras Jedir and will act quickly to identify solutions to the problem of the entry of goods to the two countries.
She announced that projects under the public / private partnership (PPP) that are ready will be presented at this event, including the project of the commercial and logistics area in Ben Guerdane, and the markets production platform in the centre.
She stressed that the two governments will work to simplify the measures and improve the business climate and the legal framework governing bilateral relations and banking relations.
In this regard, the Minister recalled that the priority sectors with high added value for the industry of both countries are the food industry, useful substances, building materials, pharmaceutical industries and hygiene products.
For her part, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, Neila Nouira Gongi said her department will develop a new industrial strategy, which will take into account the Tunisian-Libyan cooperation.
It will also devise programmes to encourage the establishment of industrial enterprises in Libya and attract Libyan investment in the industrial field.
The level of industrial cooperation between Tunisia and Libya is below estimates, with a limited number of Libyan companies located in Tunisia (23 companies) and a low investment value.
Nearly 152 Libyan industrial companies will take take part in the “Made in Libya” fair to strengthen the Tunisian-Libyan partnership.
This fair will be held on November 24, 2021 on the sidelines of the Tunisian-Libyan industrial forum at El Kram Exhibition Centre.