A seminar was held, Thursday in Tunis, on “Tunisian-French partnership to better explore the Libyan market.” This meeting between Tunisian and French investors aims to study the business climate in Tripoli to identify its prospects.
In his speech, and having said that relations between Tunisia and France are doing much better than what is supposed, in spite of the difficult situation faced by the Tunisian economy, Boris Boillon, Ambassador of France in Tunis, recalled that “the two countries, which have played a positive role in freeing Libya from dictatorship, could play together a role in rebuilding the country.
The good knowledge of Libyan market by Tunisian traders and their connections with the business community in Libya, backed by the expertise of major French groups and their abilities of proposal, not to mention the geographical and human proximity, could indeed ensure the success of this approach, he said.
The diplomat stressed that the Tunisian-French cooperation contributes to the country’s economic recovery, pointing to the sectors of tourism, vocational training, the Libyan market and traffic.
For his part, CEPEX CEO Abdellatif Hamam said Tunisia and Libya now form a complementary space that promotes investment opportunities, exchange and partnership in various sectors.
The Tunisian and Libyan companies are called, in the next step, to define a new marketing strategy in their markets, given the economic climate, characterized by a recession in some areas and by a recovery in demand for other.
Hence, the importance of developing this long-term strategy to ensure the resumption of economic relations between the two countries.
With regard to trade, He said the volume between the two countries reached two billion dinars in 2009, most of which made in agri-business, construction, various industries, chemical industries and mechanical and electrical industries.
In 2010, trade between the two countries reached 1.5 billion dinars, or a rate of 2.6% of Tunisia’s overall trade Tunisia, including 4.5% of exports (1,100 MTD). Tunisian imports from Libya are estimated at 400 MTD (1.3% of Tunisia’s external trade), including mainly crude oil.
Tunisian exports to the Libyan market fell 22.5% in January and February 2011.
In value terms, exports were estimated during these two months at more than 115 MTD against 149 MTD over the same period in 2010, i.e. down 34 MTD.
It should be noted in this context that the CEPEX has created a unit to support Tunisian companies exporting to the Libyan market. It has set up a short-term program, which consists, first, in the exports of services in areas with high added value (public works, engineering, education), said its CEO.
As for Jacques Torregrossa, Director of UBI France for Tunisia and Libya, he spoke about the French presence in Libya, the business environment and the current outlook, saying the absence of the French offer in the Libyan market, in retail, hotels, agriculture and food industry “should be overcome quickly.”
Foued Lakhoua, President of the CTFCI reviewed, in turn, actions taken by the Chamber to support French companies and reassure investors, citing, among other things, the several meetings held to better inform those companies and to listen to their concerns.