Pak-Tunisia to sign PTA for improving bilateral trade: Ambassador

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Islamabad, October 28, (APP):Pakistan and Tunisia were negotiating for a preferential trade agreement (PTA), which would be signed this year for unleash huge opportunities for improving bilateral trade between the two countries.
This was stated by Ambassador of Tunisia Adel Elarbi, while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
Chaouki Msolli, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Tunisia was also present at the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that Tunisia was a gateway for Pakistan to enter the large markets of Africa .
But, he said that due to lack of awareness on both sides about potential for mutual cooperation, Pakistan could not exploit the geographical location of Tunisia for achieving benefits for its economy.
The Envoy said that Tunisia’s 80 percent trade was with European Union and Pakistan could promote its exports to Africa and EU by enhancing cooperation with Tunisia.
He said the future was of African continent while Tunisian government was encouraging foreign investors due to which many investors of China, Turkey, Iran and other countries had invested in Tunisia.
He stressed that Pakistani business community should also visit Tunisia to explore joint ventures and investment in its free economic zones.
He urged that ICCI should form a delegation for Tunisia and his embassy would extend support in making its visit successful.
Speaking on the occasion, President ICCI Sheikh Amir Waheed said that Pakistan and Tunisia enjoyed religious, cultural and socio-political heritage, but the bilateral trade between the two countries was quite negligible.
He said both countries should focus on frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation. He said Tunisia has good expertise in medical science and education field and it should cooperate with Pakistan in these areas.
He identified agriculture, textiles, tourism, industrial machinery and IT as other potential areas of cooperation between Pakistan and Tunisia.
He said Tunisia was the second largest exporter of olive oil and Pakistan was an attractive market for its olive oil, dates and other products.
Similarly, Pakistan could export many products to Tunisia including textiles, leather products, surgical instruments, rice and cotton.
He said both countries should focus on facilitating strong business linkages between private sectors that would help in improving bilateral trade and economic relations. He said ICCI would consider taking a delegation to Tunisia to explore its market.