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Náměstek Tlapa jednal v Tunisku s premiérem Šáhedem
Photo: MZV ČR
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Deputy Minister Tlapa discussed economic cooperation, investments and migration with the Tunisian Prime Minister Chahed

 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Tlapa paid a working visit to the Republic of Tunisia between December 10th and 12th. Besides the traditional inter-ministerial consultations on the deputy minister level, he also met Minister of Industry and Minister of Trade, as well as representatives of the confederations of industry CONTACT and UTICA and leading business executives. The fact that he was also received by the Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, was yet another proof of the extraordinary level of our bilateral relations.
 

Consultations on the deputy minister of foreign affairs level are a standard format. In the course of the Deputy Minister Tlapa’s meeting with the Secretary of State Hatem Ferjani, both agreed that there is no problematic issue in our bilateral relations and that there is an all-round space for their growth. At the request of the Tunisian side, the Deputy Minister delivered a lecture on the Czech experience with modern methods of economic diplomacy to sixty students of the Diplomatic Academy of the Tunisian MFA.

From the Czech point of view, it is very interesting that Tunisia is the most innovative country in Africa (Bloomberg Innovation Index 2017). The future of industrial cooperation lies in those fields that are strong on both – Czech and Tunisian side. It is primarily the automotive industry, which employs 267 000 workers and produces 5 % of GNP as well as the computing technology that represents 7 % of GNP and employs 11 000 highly qualified work force. 

The backbone of Czech-Tunisian relations is the business cooperation, which has been growing steadily in the last five years. In 2017 it reached the value of 328 million USD. At the same time, Tunisia is the only country in the region, with which Czech Republic has a negative trade balance. “This does not particularly trouble us,” said the Deputy Minister Tlapa. “Czech industry is driven by the automotive industry and it is what causes the negative balance as Czech companies import a substantive amount of car parts from Tunisia. We are, however, interested in cooperation in other fields. The ICT sector, health care, waste management and food technologies seem particularly promising. Unfortunately, business is not being helped by some protective measures imposed by the Tunisian government on the EU countries among others. Naturally I could not avoid them in my talks with the Tunisian partners,” Deputy Minister concluded.     

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