(UTICA Tunis, 26 March 2018)

(Al Wataniya Main News Broadcast of 20:00 hrs. on 26 March 2018)


Al Wataniya TV: UTICA Headquarters in Tunis have hosted today the Tunisian-Pakistani Economic Forum with the participation of businessmen from both countries.

The significance of potential trade exchange opportunities were underlined during the meeting, namely in the IT sectors, agri-food products, tourism and handicraft.

In spite of the fact that political relations between Tunisia and Pakistan date back to 60 years ago, the volume of trade exchanges between them is not commensurate with the depth of these relations. Tunisia’s trade exchanges with Pakistan did not exceed 85 MTD in 2017 with 70 MTD of imports (mainly textile and garments) and 15 MTD of exports (mainly phosphates, olive oil and used clothes).

CEPEX Representative (Mr. Iqbal Khaldi): I believe that the Preferential Trade Agreement which is to be concluded between us shall contribute to increasing the volume of our trade exchanges. However we also need to emphasise the importance of the role of business communities from both sides in promoting bilateral trade relations.

I’m convinced that joint ventures in the pharmaceutical sector and textile industry will help boost trade exchanges between Tunisia and Pakistan.

Ambassador of Pakistan (HE Mr. Zaheer Pervaiz Khan): We are looking forward to improving our cooperation ties with Tunisia, namely by increasing our imports of phosphates.

We are working on concluding a trade exchange agreement which will allow preferential tariffs for our transactions.  We are also endeavouring to reduce restrictions on Pakistani commodity exports to Tunisia.

Al Wataniya TV: During the proceedings of the Tunisian-Pakistani Economic Forum, which gathered businessmen from both the countries, strong emphasis was placed on the need to boost bilateral trade exchanges.

UTICA Executive Board member, Khaled Sellami, recommended the setting up of an ad hoc joint commission tasked with identifying new areas of cooperation and exchange opportunities.

Mr. Khaled Sellami: We must agree on drawing up two lists – a Tunisian list and a Pakistani one, of items for free exchange. We hope that these lists, with the help of experts from both countries, will soon become effective.

Our ambition is to increase the volume of our phosphates export. We also wish to increase export of conditioned olive oil.

Mr. Tarek Soni: We are here to promote Pakistani sporting goods, including sports shoes considering their quality and price competitiveness on global markets.

This forum is a good opportunity for us to identify good potential buyers to sell our products in Tunisia.

Al Wataniya TV: UTICA has submitted a request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for dispatching a Tunisian trade delegation to further explore Pakistan’s export items and identify ways for boosting bilateral trade exchanges.