World Bulletin / News Desk
Mutual investment and trade between Tunisia and Turkey will be beneficial for both countries, the chairman of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) said late Wednesday.
Speaking at the Tunisia-Turkey Business Forum, Mehmet Buyukeksi said that entrepreneurs from both countries will have several opportunities for investment following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Tunisia this week.
"We expect a change in Tunisia's decision on duties on imports from Turkey," he added.
In January, Tunisia announced it was raising customs duties on the imports of some products from Turkey and suspending some tax concessions in 2018.
A free trade agreement between the two countries in 2005 allows Turkey to export several products, including cereals, tobacco, textile, and telecommunication devices.
Ugur Dogan, chairman of the Foreign Economic Relations Board in the Turkey-Tunisia Business Council, said: "Tunisia is Turkey's fifth-largest trading partner among African countries."
The two countries' bilateral trade, which was $412 million before the free trade agreement, reached $1.1 billion in 2016.
He added that Turkish firms had invested $1 billion in Tunisia and employed 2,000 people to date.
"I hope high duties won't affect bilateral trade," he added.
He stressed that the two countries can collaborate in the fields of automobiles, aviation, textile and medicine.
Turkey's exports to Tunisia were $720.7 million in the first 10 months of 2017 and $910.6 million in 2016, while the country's imports from Tunisia were $163.5 million in January-October and $214.3 million in 2016, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Erdogan visited Tunisia on Wednesday as part of his three-country tour to North Africa. Over 150 business people had a chance to accompany him during the visit to Sudan, Chad, and Tunisia.
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