PESHAWAR: Tunisian ambassador Borhene El Kamel on Wednesday said that his country had finalised the draft agreement of free trade with Pakistan.

Addressing a gathering of businesspersons and government officials here, the envoy also said that a Tunisia-Pakistan investment conference and trade exhibition would be held next year.

“I hope for our [Tunisian-Pak] better trade and economic relations,” he said.

The event was hosted by Tunisia’s honorary consul general in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hammad Rashid for the country’s ambassador, says a statement.

Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani was the chief guest during the ceremony, where special assistant to the chief minister Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, information secretary Arshad Khan, WCCI Peshawar president Azra Jamshid, representative of the Foreign Ministry in Peshawar Sundas Ali Khan, Tunisia’s deputy head of mission and honorary consul-generals in Lahore and Karachi, members of the business community, relevant government officials, and stakeholders were also in attendance.

The Tunisian ambassador said that his country wanted to promote trade with Pakistan, so the private sector should come forward for the purpose.

He said that both countries had cordial economic, commercial, political and defence ties.

Mr Kamel called for steps to increase bilateral trade volume.

He said that Tunisia was a gateway to Africa and Europe, so it was a good destination for foreign investors.

The envoy urged businesspersons from the province to invest in Tunisia.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mohammad Ishaq, who was the guest of honour in the event, advocated the signing of the FTA between Pakistan and Tunisia, saying the proposed move will strengthen bilateral economic and commercial relations.

He said that vast opportunities were available for better trade between the two countries.

The SCCI chief invited Tunisians to make investments in the province.

He said that trade volume between the two countries was very low, so it should be increased by the signing of the FTA, launch of joint ventures, and exchange of business delegations.

Mr Ishaq called for ‘pragmatic’ steps against “negative propaganda and hurdles to Pakistan-Tunisia relations” and said that he hoped that the signing of the FTA would benefit economies and trade of both countries.

He said that the SCCI would hold an investment conference and trade expo in Tunisia. The SCCI president invited Tunisians to invest in olive farming, mining, tourism and other sectors of the province.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2022

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