President Zein Ben Ali and his wife, Lailah, finished today a three-day official visit to Poland intended to strengthen political and commercial ties between these two countries.
Tunisia views Poland as an important trade partner as the latter joins the EU in 2003/2004, a Sahafa daily reported. In recent years, ties between the two sides have expanded. In 1992, they signed both a tourism cooperation agreement and a commercial accord. An investment promotion accord was signed the following year.
Last year was the first time Tunisia achieved a surplus in its trade balance with Poland since 1994. The country's leading export items include phosphate, textile products, agricultural products, plastic and rubber goods, al Horriya daily reports. Tunisia imports from Poland comprise chemicals, mechanical tools, building materials and transportation equipment. The number of Polish tourists arriving in Tunisia is on the rise: In 1996, the number was 35,000 increasing to more than 75,000 in the first 11 years of 1999.
Meanwhile, before departing to Poland, President Ben Ali greeted the Turkish foreign minister Ismai'l Cem. The Turkish emissary delivered the president an invitation to visit Turkey and meet its political leadership.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)