Turkey’s Minister of Economy Zafer Gaglayan is to visit Tunisia on January 23, 2012, at the head of a delegation of some one hundred businessmen from the investment, infrastructure and tourism sectors. This visit follows that of Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, on January 10-11, 2012, to Turkey, indicates, said Thursday, a Foreign Ministry’s statement. The Turkish minister will be accompanied by the Free-Trade Zones Managing Director and his deputies to examine with the Tunisian side the project of setting up a Turkish-Tunisian industrial free-trade zone.
Signing of a co-operation memorandum of understanding in the field of free-trade zone is also scheduled as part of the visit’s agenda. During his visit to Ankara, Mr. Abdessalem had signed with his Turkish opposite number a document which provides for working out an action plan touching several bilateral fields and the establishment of a precise schedule for visit exchanges for 2012.
Tunisia and Turkey managed during the last years to establish co-operation relations in various areas, with about 60 agreements and draft co-operation accords. The two countries also set up a standing joint committee chaired by the foreign ministers.
By sectors, several Tunisian-Turkish committees in the different fields (agriculture, tourism, transport, etc.) were created and are meeting regularly. On the trade level, the two sides signed in November 2004 an agreement on the creation of a free-trade zone. Trade exchanges between the two countries reached, in 2009, some 1 billion dollars.
Regarding tourism, Tunisia hosted, in 2010, about 18,000 Turkish visitors. Twenty-three Turkish exporting enterprises are implanted in Tunisia with an investment volume valued at 10,426 million dinars. These firms, most of which operate in the textile field, employ 1,189 workers.