By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter
Tunisia is eyeing to raise a $2bn joint-investment fund with Qatar to be invested in a range of sectors, including food production and manufacturing, an official of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade, and Handicrafts has said.
Board member Mohamed Kooli of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade, and Handicrafts said the $2bn joint investment fund was among the proposals presented by the Tunisian delegation during the Qatari-Tunisian Business Council held on Tuesday.
“We have proposed that Tunisia and Qatar raise $1bn each for the joint investment fund, which will be sourced from the public and private sectors of both sides,” Kooli told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a private meeting between Qatar Chamber officials and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and his delegation.
Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani said the meeting with Essebsi revolved around ways to enhance economic and trade relations between Qatar and Tunisia.
“Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has assured Qatar of new liberalised laws that would increase Qatari investments in Tunisia,” he said.
“Qatar ranks second among the top global investors worldwide and the first among Arab investors in Tunisia,” Sheikh Khalifa added.
On areas of co-operation for Qatar and Tunisia, the Qatar Chamber chairman said: “There are many investments to be made in the sectors of tourism, food industry, and car manufacturing; for the Tunisian side, they have also presented many business opportunities that we will study and evaluate.”
“Qatari businessmen will also visit their counterparts in Tunisia in the fourth quarter this year to discuss mutual co-operation and investment opportunities, including the proposals from Tunisian businessmen, which were presented during the Qatari-Tunisian Business Council,” he added.
Tunisia’s Kooli also said that more liberalised legislation will provide many investment opportunities for Tunisia and Qatar, including in other countries like India.
He said that Tunisia is seeking investment opportunities from Qatar in the following sectors: industrial, manufacturing, automobile components, agriculture, and production of olive oil, dates, sugar, meat, vegetable oils, milk, and animal feeds.
Citing the success of the Qatar Tunisian Food Company, an olive oil repacking plant in Qatar, Kooli remarked: “We have plans to set up new manufacturing plants here because of the success of our olive oil repacking plant in Qatar.”
Last year, Tunisian Prime Minister Al Habib Essid officially inaugurated the repacking facility at the New Industrial Area, which has a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes of olive oil annually.
It is 51% owned by Mahaseel (a subsidiary of Hassad Food) and 49% by a number of Tunisian companies.
“The business model for this facility also services as a platform for other commercial items like dates, fruits, and other agricultural products,” Kooli told Gulf Times.
He added: “We would like to see more plants in Qatar and in GCC, and we want to duplicate our facility’s success here by expanding to other countries like India, and even in other parts of Asia.”
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