During the working visit to Tunisia, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan signed Memorandum of Understanding with his African colleague aimed to develoe relations between the two countries.
ORIENT tells why Tunisia – one of the most prosperous countries in North Africa – would be interesting as an economic partner of Turkmenistan.
The country is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, due to which it has access to large European and Arab markets. The main export and import is carried out via such ports of Halk el Oued (La Goulette), Sfax, Bizerte, Skhira, and Sousse.
The annual production of crude petroleum in Tunisia does not exceed 5 million tons. Due to the excellent quality of organic matter – oil has almost no sulfur contaminants – it is exported with little additional purification. The export of “black gold” makes 40 percent of Tunisia’s export revenue.
Tunisia is the fourth largest in the world in the terms of extraction and processing of phosphorite – the raw material used for the production of mineral fertilizers. About 50 percent of the extracted minerals are exported, the rest is used for the production of superphosphates.
Tunisia is famous for its national fruit – dates. Also, Tunisia is the world’s largest exporter of olive oil. The country’s olive oil exports represent 40 percent of its agricultural exports and 10 percent of total exports. The export of these products secure the budget with foreign currency earnings. Another fruits are also grown in the country. However, many agricultural products are imported.
Tunisia would be attractive for tourists even more than neighbor Egypt would. Among Tunisia’s tourist attractions are the ancient ruins of Carthage – for those interested in history, traditional clothing and dishes – for lovers of exotic cultures, coastal resorts with luxury hotels – for those who want to relax in comfort outside of big cities. Due to a diversity and developed infrastructure, Tunisia is called African Europe.
The dynamically developing Tunisia, which makes its transition from the agrarian to the industrial economy, is now a promising partner of Turkmenistan in various fields, including fuel and energy, agriculture and logistics.
The geographical conditions of Turkmenistan and Tunisia in many respects are nearly similar: large areas of both countries are occupied by deserts, both countries have access to sea. Both countries are rich in mineral resources and are now actively developing processing industries.
Despite significant distance from each other, the strengthening of relations would help to establish cooperation between the Central Asia and North Africa and would significantly contribute to the global stability.