Tunisia seeks JVs with Sri Lankan garment manufacturers

July 16, 2013 - Sri Lanka

Tunisia, the smallest country in North Africa, has invited Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers for forming joint ventures with their Tunisian counterparts.
 
Due to the existing free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, and its close proximity to Europe, Tunisia has become a high-end, high-speed apparel supplier to the European countries, Tunisian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Tarek Azouz told Sri Lankan Minister of Industry & Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen at a meeting in Colombo.
 
The high-end garments that Tunisia exports to European markets are manufactured on the basis of Just in Time (JiT) practices and the apparels are available for sale in European retail counters within three days of their production, Mr. Azouz told the Minister, news.lk reported.
 
Tunisia is an unexplored market for Sri Lankan exporters, who can include Tunisia as part of their export market diversification plan, Mr. Azouz said.
 
He informed that the first phase of liberalization and privatization process is currently being implemented by the Tunisian Government.
 
The Ambassador said the Sri Lankan garment producers can come into joint ventures with Tunisian apparel producers and benefit from Tunisia’s close proximity to EU and its JiT apparel practices to increase their access to EU markets in short turnaround periods.
 
Tunisia was the first Mediterranean country to sign an Association Agreement with the EU in 1995. Subsequently, an FTA between EU and Tunisia for industrial products, including apparels, materialized in 2008.
 
In 2012, the overall bilateral trade between Tunisia and Sri Lanka stood negligibly low at US$ 0.64 million. 
 
At the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) sessions in Colombo, Tunisian delegations are expected to discuss and sign memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with various business and commerce chambers in Colombo.