Tunisia, Turkey review free trade agreement [Upd 1]

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The Ministry of Trade and Export Development and its Turkish counterpart signed last December 3 in Istanbul a decision by the Tunisian-Turkish Partnership Council which provides for reviewing the free trade agreement.

The agreement was inked by Minister Kalthoum Ben Rejeb and Turkish Trade Minister Ömer BOLAT. Three main measures were included in the accord in relation mainly to drawing up a list of agricultural and industrial products and the promotion of Turkish investments in Tunisia, the ministry said on Monday.

“The ministry managed after talks conducted since October 2022 to address bones of contention and strike this deal aimed at protecting the national industry and limit the worsening of the trade deficit with Turkey, ” reads a press release.

This involves industrial products with like products made locally. Customs duties, 0% currently, will be raised to a rate ranging betweenn 27% and 37.5% (75% of duties applied under national law, that is standard tariffs under the most-favoured-nation clause
.

For agricultural produce, the agreement provides for unilateral concessions to increase Tunisian exports to Turkey under annual duty-free quotas.

The third decision provides for more Turkish investments in Tunisia and the holding of a Tunisian-Turkish investment forum to help Turkish economic operators familiarise with investment opportunities and projects in Tunisia .

The two sides pledgd to secure the success of this business forum, slated to be held in H1 of 2024 in Istanbul. The event will help attract Turkish investors in agrifood industries and car components.

The free trade agreement will get a boost under this review as this will help ensure the sustainable protection of the industrial fabric, diversify technical and financial cooperation and foster the exchange of expertise and experiences.

Tunisia’s trade deficit in the first ten months of 2023 amounted to TND 15, 856.6 millions, including TND -2,807.7 million with Turkey. Tunisia’s imports from this country fell 23% , National Institute of S
tatistics figures in November 2023 show.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

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