Tunisian Ambassador Adel Elarbi stated hope on Pakistan-Tunisia preferential trade agreement would be signed this year, which would help in enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries. He identified agriculture, textiles, electronics, tourism and services as other potential areas of cooperation between the two countries. He expressed these views during an interaction with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in Islamabad recently.
The ambassador said that his country was interested to enhance bilateral trade relations with Pakistan as increased mutual trade cooperation was highly beneficial for both countries. He said Pakistan could get better access to the world’s largest markets like Europe, North Africa and Middle East by promoting cooperation with Tunisia, while Tunisia could get access to Asia by enhancing cooperation with Pakistan.
Adel Elarbi said Tunisia was one of the major exporters of high quality and healthy olive oil at competitive rates and Pakistani olive oil importers should avail this opportunity to promote their business. He said 80% trade of Tunisia was with Europe and Pakistani investors should explore opportunities of investment and joint ventures in Tunisia to promote their exports to European and North African markets. He assured that he would try to get some special treatment for Pakistani businessmen in visa cases so that they could easily visit Tunisia to explore business opportunities.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh said that Pakistan-Tunisia bilateral trade during 2014-15 was just $33.08 million and hectic efforts from both sides were needed to make significant improvement in two-way trade.
He said both countries should encourage frequent exchange of trade delegations and organize single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis to increase bilateral trade volume. The ICCI president said that Pakistan could export rice, pharmaceutical, surgical, leather, sports and many other products to Tunisia. He also said there was good scope for export of fabrics from Pakistan which after value addition in Tunisia could be exported to European and other countries. He said both countries should sign PTA leading to free trade agreement that would bring lot of opportunities for businessmen of both countries to improve bilateral trade.