Official statistics show that the Tunisian Bizerte Free Trade Zone has so far attracted 56 million Tunisian dinar ($45 million) in investments, reported the London-based Al-Hayat daily.
Bizerte zone, situated 60 kilometers north of the Tunisian capital, Tunis, is expected to lure another TD 23 million ($18 million) in investments by the end of 2001. Ninety percent of the investments are controlled by foreign enterprises, notably from Italy, France, America and Japan.
The value of all incoming foreign investment to Tunisia had reached a record of one billion TD ($720 million) in 2000, according to the Tunisian minister of foreign investment and international cooperation, Fathi Merdasy. This figure reflects a 122 percent increase compared with the 1999 figures, when investment amounted to only TD 437 million ($310 million).
Merdasy also revealed that TD 300 million ($215 million) worth of foreign investment was funneled into the local energy sector in 2000. A large portion of these investments was used to finance a new electrical power generation station in a southern suburb of Tunis.
In addition, several international companies began operating new oil and gas excavation projects, mainly in southern regions of Tunisia. — (MENA Report)
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