Tunisian Ambassador to Turkey Mehrez Ben Rhouma has called on Turkish firms to make new investments in his country, the first and only to have left the "Arab Spring" turmoil with few problems behind, Todays Zaman reported.
The first of the three North African countries affected by mass public demonstrations which transformed into what has commonly become known as the "Arab Spring," Tunisia held its first free election in October. The country's first democratically elected government strives to maintain stability in the country and places heavy importance on attracting new investments as well as creating new job opportunities to this end.
To discuss opportunities for possible partnerships, Ben Rhouma met with businessmen at the headquarters of the Turkish-Arab Countries Businessmen's Association (TURAB) in Mersin. Underlining that economic cooperation between Turkey and Tunisia remains well below expectations compared to the economic potential of the two nations, Ben Rhouma said his country could serve as a gateway to African markets.
"Turks and Tunisians have cultivated strong ties due to common cultural and historical values dating back four centuries. ... We should use such potential in future economic cooperation," the Tunisian ambassador said.
Turkish companies have investments in the infrastructure, textile, mechanical and electronics industries in Tunisia.
As he joined Ben Rhouma in plans to cement economic ties, TURAB President Dogan Narin said his association is committed to doing its part in encouraging Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in the Tunisian markets.
Bilateral economic and trade relations between Turkey and Tunisia are coordinated through an agreement that was signed in 2005. Turkey's exports to Tunisia experienced the highest increase amongst the three North African countries as Tunisian imports from Turkey surged from $30 million to $76 million in the first eight months of this year.