Tunisian-Greek Economic Forum: Call to reinforce direct air and sea links between Tunisia and Greece
23/04/2019 16:57, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Participants in the Tunisian-Greek Economic Forum unanimously pointed out on Tuesday that the reinforcement of air links and direct shipping between Tunisia and Greece will help develop economic co-operation between the two countries.

The volume of trade exchanges between the two countries did not exceed €341.5 thousand in 2018, according to the Exports Promotion Centre (CEPEX).

Tunisia’s exports to Greece is meanwhile estimated at €48.5 thousand, according to the same source, consisting in petroleum products (41.8%) and cement "clinker" (8.4%).

The Tunisian imports from this country amounted to €293.2 thousand in 2018, consisting in refined petroleum products and crude oil (over 50%), according to the CEPEX.

The forum was an occasion to explore the economic opportunities between the two countries.

Speakers highlighted the continued signs of economic recovery in Greece since 2017, after six years of contraction linked to the debt crisis that began in 2010.

Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Terens Nikolaos Quick said the resumption of direct air links between Tunisia and Greece from June 2019 (after a suspension that lasted 7 years) is part of this economic recovery.

"The economic co-operation between Tunisia and Greece is not at all in the image of their exemplary political relations in spite of the existence of several important areas in which it is possible for both countries to establish and foster partnerships" he regretted.

He voiced wish that direct shipping lines between Tunisia and Greece will be opened.

Taking the floor, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sabri Bachtobji said that the launch of direct shipping lines with any country can only be beneficial.

"There is a fertile ground for the development of economic relations between Tunisia and Greece," Bachtobji indicated, recalling the existence of several agreements between the two countries, including the memorandum of understanding to boost bilateral economic co-operation signed as part of this forum.

Secretary-General of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry Babis Moraitis voiced wish for his part, that the working sessions held as part of the forum will lead to partnerships between the two countries’ businessmen.

On the fringes of the forum organised at the headquarters of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), a memorandum of understanding providing for the creation of Tunisian-Greek Business Council, was inked.

This council will be chaired by UTICA executive board member Slim Ghorbal.


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