Iran hopes trade with Tunisia would reach $1b

July 20, 2012
TEHRAN - Iranian Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari has said that annual trade with Tunisia is hoped to reach $1 billion.
The IRNA News Agency quoted Ghazanfari as saying the bilateral trade would reach $500 million in the first step and then rise to $1 billion.
The value of annual trade between the two countries stands at about $300 million, according to IRNA.
The Iranian official arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday to attend the 11th meeting of Iran-Tunisia joint economic committee meeting.
During his three-day stay, Ghazanfari met with Tunisian prime minister, commerce minister, central bank governor, investment minister, foreign affairs minister and industry minister.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding and seven cooperation deals in the fields of energy, trade, science and culture.
Tunisia, Iran sign economic agreements
Tunisia and Iran signed “a number of economic agreements,” Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Commerce Mahdi Ghazanfari announced Thursday.
After his meeting with Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, he reiterated Iran's support to the Tunisian Revolution, expressing the will of his country to strengthen its cooperation with Tunisia in the scientific, cultural, economic, social and political fields.
Iran and Tunisia share the same values of civilization, he said, noting, in this context, the "convergence of views between the two countries regarding the popular uprisings in the region."
Prospects for developing the political and economic relations are "very positive", he said, noting that his meeting with the prime minister has resulted in an exchange of views on ways to promote bilateral relations and hoist them up to the deep relations binding the two brotherly peoples. "
Then Iranian delegation met with several Tunisian governmental officials to sign eight documents promising increased cooperation between the two countries. The Iranian group was led by Iranian Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade Mehdi Ghazanfari, while the Tunisian officials included Bechir Zaafouri, the Tunisian minister of commerce and handicrafts and Siham Badi, the minster of womens affairs.
The meeting came at the end of a two-day visit from the Iranian delegation to Tunisia, during which they also met with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to discuss ways to improve economic and commercial cooperation between Tunisia and Iran.
The meeting was held at the headquarters of Tunisian Exports CEPEX, and concluded the Iranians’ official visit to Tunisia. The delegation publicly signed a total of eight documents promising cooperation between the two countries in the fields of industry, energy, women affairs, education, trade, culture, and media.
Zaafouri stated that one byproduct of the agreements will be a program to increase Iran’s sharing of scientific expertise about the operation of mines and of the energy industry, especially in the field of mineral extraction.
During the meeting, Bechir Zaafouri stated that he was “optimistic about the future of Tunisian-Iranian trade because of a banking facilitation agreement that will increase trade between the countries.” He did not specify the details of this agreement, though he stated that both he and the Iranian minister were positive about the prospects of Tunisian-Iranian trade.
The Iranian minister concluded by calling for increased cooperation between Tunisia and Iran, asserting that his country is ready to help Tunisia during its democratic transition by sharing the scientific progress that Iran has made during the past years, tunisia-live reported.