Tunisian ambassador reassures support, hopes to boost trade with PTA

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Tunisia in Pakistan Adel Elarbi was invited for meeting by Secretary Commerce Mohammad Younus Dagha here on Thursday to discuss bilateral trade issues and proceed ahead with remaining work on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

During the meeting held on Thursday in Islamabad, Tunisian Ambassador Adel Elarbi mentioned the warm, cordial and brotherly relations between the two countries and desired to make the trade relations commensurate with the political relations. Tunisian Ambassador appreciated the “Look Africa Policy” of Ministry of Commerce and assured his full cooperation for any proposed bilateral engagements.

Mohammad Younus Dagha, Secretary Commerce warmly reciprocated the sentiments of Tunisian side and emphasized on boosting the existing trade ties. Secretary Commerce emphasized the need for holding the third meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Trade and signing of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the request list of Pakistan for the proposed PTA was presented to the ambassador. He assured to expedite the submission of request list by Tunisian Ministry of trade followed by expert-level talks. He expressed interest in exporting Tunisian olive oil, dates and fertilizer to Pakistan. Secretary Commerce explained that Pakistan desires to make Tunisia, a hub for enhancing exports to North Africa under Look Africa Policy, which was appreciated by the Tunisian Ambassador.

Secretary Commerce also shared Ministry of Commerce’s plan of holding a Single Country Exhibition in Tunis in 2019 with the ambassador along with visit of high-level officials and requested him to ensure fruitful participation of Textile business delegates from Tunis in the TEXPO 2019 (April 11-14, 2019 in Lahore). Tunisian Ambassador welcomed the suggestion of holding a single country exhibition in Tunis and assured cooperation for making this exhibition a successful regional event. Pakistan will exhibit textiles, sports goods, rice, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments etc. in the exhibition.

Both sides emphasized that in order to translate excellent brotherly relations into meaningful economic and trade cooperation, an early conclusion of PTA and frequent engagements at G2G and B2B level coupled with trade promotional activities will be ensured. Both sides also agreed on cultural exchanges and participation of cultural troupe in major events in near future.

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