The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina and the Tunisian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Sabri Bachtoji have committed to strengthening bilateral economic relations between two countries in order to increase trade and investment. In a bilateral meeting that took place in Pretoria, the two emphasised the need for the two governments to establish a framework and create a conducive environment for the business communities from the two countries to interact and work together.

They both indicated that the South African and Tunisian economies, despite located at the opposite ends of the continent, are teeming with economies opportunities that businesspeople can successfully explore with government support.

Our countries have enjoyed historically strong political ties but it is incumbent upon us to strengthen our economic ties and increase economic cooperation between our countries. As government, we need to work together in setting up a framework and creating an environment that will encourage our business communities to explore the economic opportunities that are available in both countries. There is quite a number of sectors in the Tunisian economy that teem with opportunities that the South African companies can take advantage of through trade, partnerships, investment and join-ventures, said Bachtoji.

He identified tourism, agriculture, services and Information and Communication Technology as some of the sectors that present unlimited opportunities for the private sector from South Africa and Tunisia to explore together.

Deputy Minister Gina said it was important to increase the two-way trade and investment between South Africa and Tunisia in order to create jobs and grow the two economies.

It is important that we hold these discussions and engage as government on various initiatives that can enable us to enhance our economic relations and result in more two-way flows of trade and investment between South Africa and Tunisia. South Africa also presents a myriad of opportunities for Tunisian companies in a variety of sectors. One of the areas of possible cooperation is the ocean economy which presents unlimited opportunities for investment, said Gina.

Trade between South Africa and Tunisia, which amounted to about R462 million in 2018, has been characterised by a mixture of periods of growth and decline over the last five years.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry