Tunis/Tunisia — Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui and Canadian International Minister of Trade François-Philippe Champagne agreed at a meeting in Ottawa to bring together experts from both countries to resume negotiations for a bilateral agreement on encouraging and protecting investment, Foreign Affairs Department said in a statement.
The two countries also agreed at a two-day visit of Tunisia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to Canada to build a strategic partnership in innovative high value-added areas, such as artificial intelligence, new technologies, higher education, scientific research and tourism.
They also expressed their agreement to continue consultations and co-ordination on issues of mutual interest, bilaterally at the regional and international levels and continued mutual support for the two countries’ nominations to the United Nations, different international and regional organisations and its various other structures and agencies.
Jhinaoui emphasised in his meeting with the Canadian Minister of International Trade that Tunisia “has the right foundations, human resources and high skills to become a trade and investment hub in the Middle East and Africa.”
On the occasion of the visit, the two parties announced the financing of two projects in the field of local governance, the participation of women in municipal action and that of security and border control for an amount of $ 8.6 million.
According to the statement, members of the Canadian government issued a statement at the end of the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, reaffirming their continued support for Tunisia “in order to meet the economic challenges imposed by the democratic transition phase after the revolution”.
In his talks with Canadian officials, businessmen and officials of economic support structures in Tunisia, Jhinaoui emphasised the privileges and incentives decided by Tunisia for investors in various sectors, highlighting the improvement of economic indicators and infrastructures.
The participants expressed for their part “their admiration at the unique Tunisian experience in the region and the world” and their willingness to examine the possibilities of co-operation, exchange and partnership with Tunisia, added the statement.
During his visit, Jhinaoui met with his counterpart Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Development and Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau and Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne and the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament.
Jhinaoui reviewed during these talks the political, economic and security situation in Tunisia, as well as the achievements made in consolidating democracy, constitutional institutions and individual and collective freedoms.
He also spoke of Tunisia’s preparations to host the summit of the international organisation of La Francophonie in 2020.