On 13 June 2008 Tunisia hosted the second joint session of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council. The main result of the session was the decision that a Tunisian delegation headed by UTICA’s President Hedi Al-Gilani would take part in the First Arab Exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo”.
The session, which was held in UTICA’s headquarters, was marked by the participation of high-ranking representatives of the embassy of the Russian Federation in Tunisia, the Embassy of the Tunisian Republic in Russia, the leadership of both countries’ major companies interested in establishing and developing bilateral cooperation. The Russian delegation was led by the Chairman of the Russian part of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council H.E. Aras Agalarov. The Russian delegation included the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Tunisia H.E. Andrey Polyakov, Advisor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Director of the Russian-Arab Business Council H.E. Tatiana Gvilava, the Russian Federal Assembly State Duma DeputyВ O.L.Mikheev, JSC “Agromarket-Trade” Director General M.R.Fedotov, Minister-Counselor of the Russian embassy in Tunisia I.F.Iskanderov, Commercial Counselor of the Russian embassy in Tunisia I.T.Kofanov, JSC “Crocus International” External Economic Relations Deputy Director M.A.Melikov, “Inna-Tour” ltd Commercial Director I.G.Polyakova, and other representatives of business circles and organizations.
The Tunisian side was represented by the Chairman of the Tunisian side of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council, UTICA Vice-President H.E. Mohammed Sahrawi, UTICA Vice-President, Head of the “Confisserie Triki – Le Moulin” group of companies H.E. Nabil Triqi, “Universal Trading” International Commerce Director Rida Ben Abdel Salam, UTICA External Relations Director Hasan Qarawi, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Tunisian Republic, the leadership of the Tunisian Centre of Export Promotion (CEPEX), the leading Tunisian companies dealing in mineral resources extraction, international trade, tourism, air and marine transportation, olive oil production, dates, milk and confectionery products, export fruits and wine-making.
The key issue of the session’s agenda was the participation of the Tunisian delegation in the First Arab exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo”. The topic was voiced in the speech of the head of the Russian delegation, the Chairman of the Russian part of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council H.E.Aras Agalarov, who highlighted the fact that both sides have great potential for cooperation in such spheres as atomic energy, metallurgy, industrial products import and export etc. Mr. Agalarov mentioned that for boosting bilateral relations it was extremely important to have a platform for receiving information about local markets, holding talks and taking decisions, and a Tunisian stand at the exhibition “Arabia-Expo” could become an optimal platform for this. A special importance of the participation of the Tunisian side in the exhibitionВ was also stressed by the Advisor to the President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry H.E. Tatiana Gvilava, who pointed out that the Tunisian side had worthy projects which could and should be presented at the exhibition and that the Russian side had exerted every possible effort to facilitate Tunisia’s participation in “Arabia-Expo”.
The Chairman of the Tunisian side of the Council H.E. Mohammed Sahrawi expressed his gratitude for the invitation to take part in the First Arab Exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo” to the representatives of the Russian delegation. Mr. Sahrawi said that the Tunisian side decided to В time the declaration of its decision to participate in the exhibition to Mr. Agalarov and the Russian delegation’s visit. The Chairman of the Tunisian part of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council drew special attention to the fact that UTICA’s President Hedi Jilani expressed his consent to head the Tunisian delegation at the exhibition “Arabia-Expo”, the fact that would help to get the largest companies of the country interested in attracting investments, information and experience exchange, to participate in the event.В В В
Among another questions of the agenda both sides discussed the problem of opening the air space for organizing the direct air connection. Thereupon H.E. Andrey Polyakov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia in the Tunisian Republic, pointed out the results in the work of the Third Session of the Russian-Tunisian intergovernmental committee over the trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation, which was held in the Tunisian Republic in the end of May, 2008, and also the consultations of experts in this matter. H.E. Ambassador pointed out that the signing of the documents, which aim at the preparing of the necessary juridical base, were the result of these meetings, and he added that this problem was likely to be solved in the nearest future.
Also both sides touched upon the problems of transporting the goods from Tunisia to Russia, discharging of commercial ships in the ports Novorossiysk and St. Petersburg, and also the problems of high customs duties, imposed on the number of importing goods in Russia. The importance of solving these problems was caused by creating suitable atmosphere for developing trade with Tunisia in most European countries, and Russia, in opinion of the Tunisian side, should follow their example in order to assure an increase of commodity circulation between the two countries.
The representatives of the Tunisian side of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council were also the initiators of providing their Russian colleagues with the information about the prepared projects of cooperation in advance before the next meeting of the Council. This was being fulfilled in order to keep on discussing the details of those projects and summing up by making concrete decisions at the next membership meeting, which would be held in October, 2008 within the exhibition “Arabia-Expo”.
After totalizing the second meeting of the Russian-Tunisian Business Council, the recommendations over development of trade-economic relations between Russia and Tunisia were as follows:
- The participation of the Tunisian delegation in the First Arab Exhibition in Moscow “Arabia-Expo”.
- The work at hastening the process of preparing and signing the bilateral trade agreement.
- Air space opening and the organization of air service.
- Conducting the activities, which aim at the Russian consumer acquaintance withВ Tunisian products, collection of information about markets for using it during the realization of projects of bilateral cooperation. В В В