Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie held a working meeting today at the Palacio San Martín with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia, Khemaïes Jhinaoui. At the meeting, they discussed different issues on the bilateral agenda, especially focusing on trade opportunities and technical, nuclear, space, education and sports cooperation opportunities.
The Argentine Foreign Minister and his Tunisian counterpart agreed that the two countries have great cooperation opportunities in sectors and products with high potential for business, such as agro-industry (agricultural machinery, dairy products, soy, sunflower and maize oil), the automotive and auto parts industry (especially the pickup segment), medical supplies, the pharmaceutical industry, and space technology (weather radars).
After the meeting, Faurie highlighted that "North African countries, especially Tunisia, are valuable partners for Argentina and we want to work with them" and explained that, during the meeting, the ministers talked about "strengthening the bilateral relationship, especially in terms of economic and trade opportunities, as well as technical cooperation opportunities," and about "complementarity in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors."
"There are several cooperation opportunities in the agro-industry products sector," Faurie stated. "The Minister of Agriculture of Tunisia will soon visit our country, and that will serve as a great opportunity to discuss possible areas of cooperation."
The Foreign Minister informed that he signed a series of agreements with his Tunisian counterpart and particularly highlighted "the agreement with agencies of foreign trade and investment promotion," as well as "the agreements on technical and social cooperation, gender and human rights matters."
In turn, Khemaïes Jhinaoui said that "we have identified promising sectors, such as the agricultural sector, in which Argentina has vast experience. We discussed the importance of increasing the frequency of technical visits."
"We want to continue making progress towards an agreement between Tunisia and Mercosur. Tunisia has excellent relations with African countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, and we are considered a reliable partner in that region," the Tunisian Minister added.
The importance of working together to increase bilateral trade was also highlighted. In 2018, Argentine exports to Tunisia amounted to USD 67.5 million, with Argentina's trade surplus amounting to more than USD 23 million.
Argentina and Tunisia –our main partner in our 2016-2019 Cooperation Plan with Africa– share technical cooperation projects within the framework of the Argentine Fund for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (FO.AR), especially in strategic sectors such as agro-industry. The Foreign Ministers expressed their willingness to strengthen cooperation, including both bilateral and triangular cooperation, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.
At the end of the meeting, the Foreign Ministers signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement, a Gender and Women's Human Rights Cooperation Agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Social Matters, and a Memorandum of Understanding between the Argentine Agency of Investment and International Trade (AAICI) and the Tunisian Centre for Export Promotion (CEPEX).