Tunisia Strengthening Ties with South Africa
South African President Thabo Mbeki on Monday started a two-day state visit to Tunisia. He is joined by Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
The aim of the visit is to consolidate political, economic and trade relations between Tunisia and South Africa. A Binational Commission was set up between the two countries in 1996, paving the way for abolishing visa requirements. The two countries also signed a Technical Co-operation Agreement between Tunisia's National Institute of Industrial Property and the South African Bureau of Standards.
Tunisia is actively seeking to consolidate its Association Agreement with the EU in 1998 by boosting trade with other countries and reducing trade barriers and opening up the economy. Tunisia is particularly hoping to increase exports of its agricultural, mining, energy and manufacturing sectors as well as encouraging tourism and sees South Africa as the most advanced economy on the African continent as a major strategic partner.
South African companies such as Profurn hope to use Tunisia as a base to penetrate the growing North African markets.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)