Tu­ni­sair launches di­rect flights be­tween Kur­dis­tan and Tu­nisia

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Tu­ni­sair an­nounced two di­rect flights per week to Kur­dis­tan at the first Tu­nisia – Kur­dis­tan Eco­nomic Fo­rum hosted by the KRG in Er­bil. Tu­nisian govern­ment of­fi­cials, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of more than 50 com­pa­nies, as well as jour­nal­ists were among the del­e­ga­tion aboard the first Tu­ni­sair flight to ar­rive in Kur­dis­tan.

At the well-at­tended fo­rum, KRG Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try Si­nan Cha­l­abi wel­comed the de­ci­sion to com­mence di­rect flights. He said: “There are nu­mer­ous fields in which we can ben­e­fit from the trade with Tu­nisia, par­tic­u­larly tourism, agri­cul­ture, and in­dus­try, as Tu­nisia ex­ports goods and know-how skills to more than 160 coun­tries and is con­sid­ered a ma­jor trad­ing part­ner of the Euro­pean Union.” He added: “The KRG adopts an open-door pol­icy re­gard­ing the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity of other coun­tries, and Tu­nisia is most wel­come to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. There are sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties and po­ten­tials on both sides that can be uti­lized to ex­pand eco­nomic re­la­tions.”

Tu­nisian Am­bas­sador to Iraq, Samir Ja­mali, ex­pressed his grat­i­tude for the warm re­cep­tion, en­sur­ing that his coun­try “is keen to de­velop trade re­la­tions with the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.” Speak­ing to KRG.org, the Am­bas­sador high­lighted the po­ten­tial for a suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion. He said: “There must be com­mon ex­change and mu­tual ben­e­fit for both sides. The KRG has opened its doors for Tu­nisian com­pa­nies, which is es­pe­cially im­por­tant af­ter Tu­nisia’s growth gath­ered mo­men­tum fol­low­ing the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in 2010.”

Pres­i­dent of the Kur­dis­tan Fed­er­a­tion of Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try Dara Khayat em­pha­sized the value of Tu­nisian par­tic­i­pa­tion in Iraq and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. In his speech he stated: “The KRG at­taches im­por­tance to bi­lat­eral eco­nomic re­la­tions with Tu­nisia, par­tic­u­larly af­ter the visit of the Kur­dis­tan del­e­ga­tion to Tunis.” His coun­ter­part, Head of Tu­nisia’s Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Munir al-Moakhar, told KRG.org that the sta­ble po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the Re­gion opens the doors for Tu­nisian in­vest­ment, fo­cus­ing on “the fields of tourism, agri­cul­ture, and health.” He also stated that al­though Tu­ni­sair will be­gin with two flights per week, this may in­crease to four in the fu­ture."

Di­rec­tor of Ex­ports in Tu­nisia’s Min­istry of Trans­port Ab­dul­latif Ha­mam told KRG. org that Tu­nisia an­nu­ally ex­ports more than 3000 prod­ucts to more than 160 coun­tries. He noted that the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion is wit­ness­ing “a pos­i­tive trans­for­ma­tion in con­struc­tion and build­ing, es­pe­cially since 2003.” He added that re­la­tions with Tu­nisia can ben­e­fit Kur­dis­tan in the fields of con­struc­tion, tourism, and health, stat­ing that soon a KRG del­e­ga­tion will visit Tu­nisia to learn more about the coun­try’s ex­pe­ri­ence in con­struc­tion.

The Tu­ni­sair flight marks the first ar­rival of the air­line in Iraq af­ter 23 years of sus­pended ac­tiv­ity due to Iraq's po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion. The del­e­ga­tion was re­ceived at the air­port by Head of the KRG Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Falah Mustafa, Govern­ment Spokesper­son Min­is­ter Safeen Diza­yee, and other KRG of­fi­cials.

Also dur­ing the eco­nomic fo­rum, Pres­i­dent of the En­trepreneurs Union of Kur­dis­tan Samir Ismail Daizi an­nounced that a del­e­ga­tion of en­trepreneurs of the Re­gion will pay a visit to Tu­nisia in Septem­ber 2014.

Daizi said that the visit sched­uled by the Kur­dish busi­ness­men comes af­ter "the con­fir­ma­tion of the qual­ity of the ser­vices pro­vided by the Tu­nisian firms of pub­lic works and their con­form­ity to the Euro­pean and in­ter­na­tional stan­dards."

The Kur­dish of­fi­cial said that the del­e­ga­tion of the busi­ness­men com­prises about 40 to 50 en­trepreneurs from Kur­dis­tan and that their visit to Tu­nisia will al­low them to see first­hand the Tu­nisian sup­pli­ers and in­dus­tri­al­ists with­out go­ing through, in ac­cor­dance with the pro­ce­dures in force now, their coun­ter­parts in Jordan.

Min­is­ter Cha­l­abi em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of the first di­rect flight Tunis-Er­bil of the Tu­ni­sair Com­pany, launched on 1 June, 2014, to strengthen the eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

"This flight will es­tab­lish fruit­ful trade re­la­tions and high­light the po­ten­tial­i­ties of the Re­gion of Kur­dis­tan, no­tably in mat­ters of tourism and also its riches of raw ma­te­ri­als," he said.

Min­is­ter Cha­l­abi also high­lighted the ex­per­tise and the skills of the Tu­nisian hu­man re­sources, con­firm­ing the ex­is­tence of a real in­vest­ment po­ten­tial in Kur­dis­tan, no­tably, in the field of health and tourism.

Be­sides, the Kur­dish Min­is­ter stated the readi­ness of the au­thor­i­ties of the Re­gion to en­sure all the con­di­tions fa­vor­able to the de­vel­op­ment of re­la­tions with Tu­nisia in var­i­ous fields.

In this re­gard, he em­pha­sized the need to strive in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the con­cerned de­part­ments to fa­cil­i­tate the pro­ce­dures of get­ting visas for tourists as well as in­vestors. CEPEX CEO Ab­del­latif Hmam un­der­lined that Tu­nisian en­ter­prises are ex­port-ori­ented. They are, hence­forth, ready to de­velop co-oper­a­tion with the Kur­dish firms in sev­eral fields.

The par­tic­i­pants in the Tu­nisian-Kur­dish fo­rum con­firmed that this gath­er­ing will spare no ef­fort to iden­tify the part­ner­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween the Tu­nisian en­trepreneurs and their Kur­dish coun­ter­parts.

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