US, Tunisian firms study cooperation at four-day forum

Published April 1st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Representatives of 30 US-based companies and 60 Tunisian firms, all involved in the information and communications sectors, have gathered in Tunis for a four-day forum, called "Tunisia-America Partnership Days.” 


The event, which was first proposed in 1998 by Stuart Eizenstat, the then-US assistant secretary of state for economic affairs, is intended to promote American private investment in Tunisia’s communication sector, as it undergoes the process of privatization. Fitting, the forum falls within the framework of the so-called “Eizenstat Initiative,” which is a partnership project between the United States and North African countries including Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. 


Speaking at the opening of the forum, Fethi Merdassi, the Tunisian minister of international cooperation and foreign investment, said that trade between the United States and Tunisia, which was estimated at $450 million in 2000, remained "strongly unbalanced."  


He expressed his regret about the relatively small number of American companies currently operating in Tunisia. Linda A. Welter, an official from the US department of trade, attended the forum’s opening ceremony. — (Albawaba-MEBG)

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