Over 200 Tunisian and Libyan businessmen gathered Thursday on the first Tunisian-Libyan Economic Forum, an initiative of Tunisia-Africa Business Council (TABC) in Tunis.
“Tunisia is working to establish a global strategic partnership with Libya in the energy and electricity sectors, in addition to reactivate strategic infrastructure projects and develop border areas,” Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said at the forum.
Chahed also advocated the creation of a free trade zone in Ben Guerdane in southeast Tunisia, a few kilometers from Libyan borders.
Chahed also expressed his hope that Tunisian-Libyan joint commission will revive after years of suspension.
“Tunisian government is committed to further boosting trade with Libya in all sectors, including services, besides ensuring a favorable and fertile business climate for investing in strategic areas,” said Chahed.
He also appealed to Libyan businessmen to reiterate Tunisia’s solidarity with Libyan people and their legitimate institutions.
“We still support this country and we are determined to multiply efforts to consolidate areas of humanitarian, economic and social cooperation,” said Bassem Loukil, president of TABC.
Loukil said “Libya would certainly know how to find the end of the tunnel and overcome its problems by the end of 2019.”
Loukil noted that Libya has achieved a rebound of 55 percent of GDP for 2017, “a figure that augurs for an economic recovery in this country,” he hoped.
Due to lack of security and political stability in Libya, Tunisian exports fell by almost half over a seven-year period to reach 400 million dollars in 2017, according to figures exposed on this forum.