Tunisian President’s visit reflects Qatar’s position on the Tunisian diplomacy map, as it was his first visit to the State of Qatar since he took office in October last year. The visit also reflects the importance of the role that the State of Qatar and its wise leadership play in its Arab and international surroundings at all levels, especially political and economic. It reaffirms that the State of Qatar has successfully overcome all the obstacles that aimed to isolate it and cut the lines of communication between it and its Arab friends.
Under the framework of the distinguished relations between Qatar and Tunisia, President of the sisterly Republic of Tunisia H E Kais Saied began a state visit to the country yesterday, at the invitation of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
H H the Amir and H E the Tunisian President will discuss at the Amiri Diwan today bilateral relations and the means of enhancing and developing them, in addition to issues of joint interest.
The visit shows that addressing the coronavirus pandemic, which is a concern of various countries of the world, does not prevent the State of Qatar from carrying out its national and humanitarian role towards friends at all times and everywhere.
It is certain that the meeting is a good opportunity to review what the two countries have accomplished and what they aspire to in the way of upgrading cooperation and coordination in all fields to serve the interests and aspirations of their peoples. The meeting will constitute a shift and add to the balance of the strong fraternal relations existing between the two countries and enhance coordination and mutual understanding between the leaderships towards the future and prospects of bilateral relations and their advancement, and towards various current Arab, regional and international issues, in a way that contributes to supporting Arab issues and rights, strengthening joint Arab action, and maintaining security, peace and stability in the region, especially since Tunisia is the only Arab member currently at the UN Security Council.
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Tunisia have close historical relations distinguished in many fields. Qatar stood by the Tunisian people and their revolution since the beginning until it achieved its goals. H H the Amir was the second leader to visit Tunisia since Kais Saied assuming his duty as President, and that was the fourth visit of the H H the Amir to Tunisia in four years.
The State of Qatar has maintained its position as one of the most important investors in Tunisia and as one of its most important financial and economic partners, as Tunisia hosted an international investment conference ‘Tunisia 2020, which came at the initiative of the H H the Amir. H H the Amir attendance of this important event had a great impact on giving a new impetus to the relations between the two countries, especially on the economic and investment side. The Amir announced before the opening session of the conference, that the State of Qatar would direct an amount of $1,250,000,000 in support of the Tunisian economy, and to strengthen and to consolidate its development path.
The State of Qatar also provided a deposit of $500m to support Tunisia’s hard currency reserves, preceded by a loan of $500m, through subscribing to bonds to help the government achieve development in the interior regions.
Last May, Tunisia received medical aid from Qatar to confront coronavirus pandemic, including a field hospital equipped with 100 beds, and a shipment of medical aid weighing 10 tonnes.
The economic relations between the two countries have witnessed a great boom in recent years, as trade exchanges between the two countries and Tunisian agricultural exports to the Qatari market have doubled, and the Qatari private sector participates in the Tunisian economic cycle through large investments in vital sectors.
The Qatar Friendship Fund (QFF), the Qatar Fund for Development, and Silatech Foundation contribute to financing many development projects in Tunisia, especially those that employ the youth.
It is not a coincidence that the only office of the Tunisian Foreign Investment Agency in the Arab world is open in Doha, because the State of Qatar is considered one of the most important investors in Tunisia, as it ranks second in terms of the volume of foreign direct investments.
In November 2019, it was announced that a Qatar visa center would be established in Tunisia, the first of its kind in the Arab world and Africa.
The State of Qatar ranks first in the Arab world and second internationally in terms of the volume of direct investment in Tunisia, with investments estimated at more than $3bn distributed in the telecommunications, banking and tourism and other sectors, which is evidence of the depth of the deep-rooted relations between the two countries.
The number of agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries exceeds more than 80 agreements, including 10 agreements signed in 2019, covering the political, diplomatic, economic, industrial, commercial, banking, health, agricultural, technical, media, cultural, tourism, air transport sectors, the prevention of double taxation, the judiciary, endowments and Islamic affairs sectors, public works, environmental protection, pollution control, information technology and vocational training fields, oil refining, real estate investment, and the employment of Tunisian workers in the State of Qatar.
The State of Qatar attracts thousands of Tunisian talents and provides them with job opportunities in all fields and economic, educational, social and sports sectors. The number of the Tunisian community in the State of Qatar exceeds 27,000.
Since his ascension to the presidency in October 2019, Tunisian President Kais Saied has sought to implement investment projects in Tunisian governorates with foreign partnerships, and his country pursues clear diplomacy on its economic path based on exploiting all the communication channels and frameworks offered by diplomacy with foreign countries to serve the country’s economy.
Tunisia is full of promising economic and investment opportunities, and it has everything attracting foreign investments due to the availability of infrastructure, administrative facilities, tax exemptions, and the Tunisian government support for basic materials such as water, electricity and gas.