Official statistics show that the Tunisian Bizerte Free Trade Zone has so far attracted TD (Tunisian dinar) 56 million ($45 million) in investments, reports 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. 90 percent of these investments are controlled by foreign enterprises, notably from Italy, France, America and Japan.
The value of all incoming foreign investments to Tunisia had reached a record TD 1 billion ($720 million) in 2000, according to the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Investment and International Cooperation, Fathi Merdasy. This figure reflects a 122 percent increase in comparison to 1999, in which the value of these investments amounted to only TD 437 million ($310 million).
Merdasy also revealed that TD 300 million ($215 million) worth of foreign investments 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 new oil and gas excavation projects, mainly in southern Tunisia. —(MENA Report)
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