INDIA TUNISIA ECONOMIC FORUM
Held on the 22nd December 2020.
*Dr Srikar Reddy IFS*, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India.
*H.E. Ambassador Riadh Essid*,, Director Asia Division , Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tunisia.
*H.E. Puneet R Kundal IFS*, Indian Ambassador in Tunisia
*Dr. Asif Iqbal*, President, Indian Economic Trade Organization
*Anis Jaziri*, President, Tunisia Africa Business Council
*Walid Loukil*, Owner, Loukil Group, Tunisia
*Chris Pohl*, Director, India Africa Trade Council(IATC)
*Safouen BEN BRAHIM*, Managing Director SBB GLOBAL Engineering
*Boutheian Regaieg* Dean, Faculty of Economics, Jendouba
*Aya Frioui* Business Journalist, Tunisian Media
The discussion was chaired by Mohit Srivastava, Director, Indian Economic Trade organization. This is to further add with great pleasure that the proceedings of the meeting will be carried out in the Tunisian Media and Indian press, along with other prominent news agencies in India and Tunisia.
Bonding India-Tunisia in a newer outlookIndia Tunisia Economic Forum was conducted virtually on December 22, 2020 with an idea to give impetus to the growing possibilities between India and Tunisia, the “Indian Economic Trade Organization” organized this event on online medium with support of India Africa Trade Council which was attended by representation from the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India and Foreign Ministry of Tunisia, Indian Ambassador to Tunisia, Indian and Tunisian business owners and industrialists. The theme of the dialogue was India Tunisia- Promoting Equitable Growth. Under this theme, the discussions were around the strengths of Tunisia and its integration on multilateral level, especially in a post-Covid scenario, with the focus on newer opportunities in business, industry strengths, relaxation in export & trade policies, enhancement of manufacturing and supply chain capabilities and as an outcome to formulate a new roadmap for collaborations between India and Tunisia. The Forum raised major concern over expanding trade and tourism between India and Tunisia. A diverse set of panelists from around the world joint together shared their views on building up much robust Indo Tunis ties. Commencing the session, Dr Srikar Reddy IFS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India said, “Bilateral trade between India and Tunisia US$ 376 Billion in the financial year 2019-20. Major commodities for export from India include Motor vehicles, Iron & Steel, Cotton, Coffee, Tea, Textiles and Pharmaceutical products. We have ways and means for exploring the possibilities of enhancing the trade and investment partnership with Tunisia including preferential trade agreement to the limited items. While H.E. Ambassador Riadh Essid, Director Asia Division , Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tunisia mentioned, “It’s our wish as Tunisian partners to collaborate and be of added value to the process involving the implementation of programms emanating from this initiative particulary programs that require consultation, studies and practical recommendation from TABC and IETO.” Further on H.E. Puneet R Kundal IFS, Indian Ambassador in Tunisia, “We will be sharing a period in the Security Council together in year 2021 for first time in history that India and Tunisia will be together in the UN Security Council. The real driver behind today’s relationship is Trade, Commerce, and Investment. We can boost trade especially in Agriculture field, Olive oil, dates, Pharmaceuticals. Relationship between India and Tunisia on political level is supported by common shared values.” Taking a further look on the discussion, Mr Anis Jaziri, President, Tunisia Africa Business Council added, “We have made more than 20 missions to Africa and have organized international council in Tunisia. TABC is the Real hub from Tunisia to go to Africa and we are very confident in our transition.” While, Dr. Asif Iqbal, President, Indian Economic Trade Organization added “We in India want to present our self as a more authentic soft power and ally the whole of Africa that we can be relied upon. We would like to show how India treats Tunisia in the same manner and also amplifies that they support each other from time to time.” The session also had the presence of a well known businessmen Mr Walid Loukil, Owner, Loukil Group, Tunisia, “Our focus also on steel construction, agricultural equipment etc for Tunisian market and also work for African countries. Chris Pohl, Director, India Africa Trade Council (IATC), “IATC is being geared towards assisting small and medium enterprises in Africa and India, along with Education, Health , Tourism and Hospitality sectors also having opportunities. Political Will and Sincere Execution will ensure that the final goal is achieved” Safouen BEN BRAHIM, Managing Director SBB GLOBAL Engineering, “Steel plant is being created to serve south of Tunisia and eventually Libya. We have no limit. I look forward to strengthening the bilateral ties and reach the target of one billion by 2022 ” Boutheian Regaieg Dean, Faculty of Economics, Jendouba, “We have set up a production setup in agriculture, food products, fertilizers in Tunisia to liaison the relations. ‘Tunisia India Friendship Forum’ that have components of India and Tunisia societies aims to develop well being between people of two countries and economic offers in both countries.” Aya Frioui Business Journalist, Tunisian Media, “I see a potential for India in sectors like Manufacturing, Technology, Services and Innovation and view Intellectual Property Rights. The Tunisian economy is projected to rebound strongly in 2021 and the digital economy will transform the business models around the world.
The key highlight of the event been the MOU was signed between ‘Tunisia India Business Council’ (TABC) and ‘Indian Economic Trade Organization’ (IETO) by Dr. Asif Iqbal, President, IETO and Anis Jaziri, President, TABC