3rd Franco-Tunisian High Council for Cooperation economic forum to conclude

The 3rd Franco-Tunisian High Council for cooperation economic forum today. Attendees of the conference include French and Tunisian government and

AP

Photo: AP

The 3rd Franco-Tunisian High Council for cooperation economic forum today.

Attendees of the conference include French and Tunisian government and corporate officials, headlined by French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed. Representatives from the two countries have discussed issues related to economic development, security, education, research and culture; partnership agreements are expected to be inked to strengthen cooperation in these fields. French foreign policy aims to cultivate ties with other Francophone states as an avenue for French investment and culture.

The 20 French companies attending feature several different industries, but information technology (IT) industries remain paramount, likely meaning that IT-modernization is Tunisia’s highest priority. Infrastructure is another, with French investment in a rapid rail network in Tunis and for Tunisia’s buckling healthcare system. Lastly, Tunisia’s economy is saddled with debt and has failed to keep up with inflation and rising prices, especially in the wake of the pandemic which devastated tourism, its largest industry. A French loan of $2 Billion will likely be granted but will require IMF oversight. In return, France will likely want assistance with trans-Mediterranean migration, as 15% of migrants to France sail from Tunisia, placing untenable strain on the French welfare system.

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