Tunisian Economics Minister Mr. Chedly Ayari had talks with members of Confindustria -- the Italian?
Tunisian Economics Minister Mr. Chedly Ayari had talks with members of Confindustria -- the Italian confederation of industry -- in Rome on Wednesday (March 28).
The talks were part of a three-day visit by the Minister at the invitation of the Italian government.
Heading the Confindustria group, who met with Mr. Ayari and his associates, was Vice-President Giuseppe Locatelli. Representatives of several large industrial firms such as Pirelli and Olivetti attended.
Tunisia's major export is petroleum, followed by olive oil products which account for the large portion of the country's export trade, totalling about 90 million dollars (GBP 37 million approx.). Its imports consist mainly of machinery, metal goods and transport equipment.
Although France still remains Tunisia's principal supplier (accounting for 35 per cent of the country's imports in 1971), Italy has replaced France as Tunisia's biggest export market -- taking over 30 per cent of her exports.
Part of Mr. Ayari's mission in Italy is to explore with business and industrial leaders the possibility of greater two-way trade -- especially in petroleum and machinery.
Italy is attractive to Tunisia as a member of the European Economic Community as well. The EEC accounted for nearly 60 per cent of Tunisian exports in 1971. Tunisian Foreign Minister Mohamed Masmoudi told the EEC ministers in February that Tunisia, which has an association agreement with the EEC, wants even closer links.
SYNOPSIS: As part of a three-day visit to Italy, Tunisia's Economic Minister Mr. Chedly Ayari met with officials of the Italian confederation of Industry on Wednesday in their Rome headquarters. His host was Mr. Giuseppe Locatelli, vice-president of Confindustria and representatives of several large Italian industrial firms were present.
Mr. Locatelli and the Italian representatives discussed the Tunisian desires for closer economic co-operation between the two nations -- particularly in energy, since Tunisia's major export is petroleum.
Italy surpassed France recently as Tunisia's biggest customer -- taking thirty per cent of her exports in nineteen seventy-one.
And Tunisia is interested in Italy as a source of one of its biggest imports -- heavy machinery.
As a member of the European Economic Community, which takes almost sixty per cent of Tunisia's total exports, Italy is also an attractive avenue towards closer economic ties between the community and Tunisia.