Tunisian firms to set up food processing units in Qatar
30 Oct 2017 - 0:44
By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula
Several Tunisian companies are in the process of establishing food processing units in Qatar. Some of them have even signed agreements with local partners to form joint ventures in this regard.
This was revealed yesterday by a senior official of Qatar Chamber (QC), the country’s largest private industry representative body, which hosted a B2B meeting of Qatari businessmen with the visiting Tunisian trade delegation.
Government authorities and business leaders from Qatar and Tunisia have been working closely to expanding and deepening bilateral cooperation for several years but the pace of growth have accelerated over the last few months, especially after the abrupt imposition of siege against Qatar imposed by Saudi-led Arab quartet.
“Tunisian companies have signed some agreements with local partners to establish some food producing facilities in Qatar. At the same time they are also studying and exploring investment opportunities in some other promising sectors of the Qatari economy,” said Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, Vice-Chairman of QC.
Al Kuwari added: “Tunisian side have many things to add. For instance they have expertise in management and other fields, which can add value to the local market.”
He noted that Tunisian side is very serious in expanding cooperation with Qatar. “We have received several trade delegations before this from Tunisia, which is evident about the level of cooperation.”
He also said that Qatari companies, both from the public and private sector, have many big investments in many sectors, which include hospitality and tourism. And Tunisia can be a gateway to North Africa and Europe for Qatari exports and re-exports.
“The Qatari-Tunisian trade relations have witnessed a remarkable development in recent years and the private sector of the two countries is keen to increase trade exchange and strengthen partnerships between the two sides”, said Al Kuwari. The Vice-Chairman of QC stressed that the Chamber is keen to enhance communication with the business community in sisterly Tunisia. He called on business owners in both countries to identify the investment opportunities available in the sectors that characterise the Qatari and Tunisian sides.
The volume of bilateral trade exchange reached QR146m last year, but both sides admit that it remains below the desired level. Qatari investments in Tunisia exceeded QR4bn by the end of 2015, including direct investments in five basic projects, which provide more than 120,000 jobs and represent 13 percent of the total foreign direct investment in Tunisia, according to available data.
The visiting trade delegation from Tunisia, representing a number of stakeholders in the development of investment and business in the North African country, with the broad participation of Qatari businessmen.
Abdelmoneim Toukabari, Director of the Agency for the Promotion of Agricultural Investments and head of the Tunisian delegation at the meeting, said that Doha is considered an important destination for Tunisian investments and that the visit follows the participation in the international exhibition of food and consumer industries.Toukabari considered that Tunisian products in the fresh food sector are of high quality and conform to international standards and standards, calling on the Qatari private sector to learn about Tunisian products.
A representative of the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries said that the visitors at the Food and Consumer Industries Exhibition, which concluded yesterday at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, have shown great response to the Tunisian pavilion at the expo, noting that the role of the Ministry includes developing trade relations with brotherly and friendly countries.
A representative of Tunisia’s Namaa Association revealed that there will be joint Tunisian-Qatari investments which will soon be launched, especially in the field of plastics and raw materials.