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Tunisia celebrates Independence Day

Ashraf Ansari

Islamabad—Ambassador Adel Elarbi of Tunisia hosted a reception here to celebrate the Independence day of his country. A large number of guests eagerly came to grace the event and the hall was packed to capacity. In line with such diplomatic functions, national anthems of the two countries were played which evoked thunderous applause. The Chief Guest Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan
Jatoi joined the host and other guests in cutting the ceremonial cake. The Tunisian ambassador is a great friend of Pakistan who believes that there should be more and more cooperation between Pakistan and his country in various areas of mutual interest. Pakistan and Tunisia are in talks to sign “Preferential Trade Agreement”.
Tunisian government and people highly value relations of their country with Pakistan. They cherish the memory of Pakistan’s strong support to the Tunisian people in their liberation struggle. Tunisia celebrated this year 60th anniversary of their independence. Tunisia has a rich heritage rooted in ancient history going back to Roman Empire. Advent of Islam nurtured a Muslim civilization based on dignity of man and finest human rules. The Norwegian Nobel Peace Committee awarded the Nobel Prize for 2015 to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of Jasmine Revolution of 2011.
Tunisia was ancient Rome’s bread basket, and agriculture continues to be a valued economic sector. Tunisia’s economy has diversified from a traditional emphasis on agriculture to include industrial and service sectors. Mining and manufacturing, banking and tourism, farming and fishing all contributed to the country’s 5% average economic growth rate over the past 40 years.
Since independence, the Tunisian government has applied both socialist and neoliberal approaches to manage the economy. Funding for water and power infrastructure, price subsidies, education and public sector employment helped establish a modest but rising standard of living for a healthy, well educated workforce, but also created high expectations for opportunities and services in a country of limited resources and revenues.
The European Union is by far Tunisia’s largest partner. Tunisia is as well actively engaged in the Maghreb integration process. Tunisia has also concluded trade arrangement with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and is in talks with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) as well as with several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Near and Middle East. In this connection, Tunisia is in talks with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to conclude a preferential trade arrangement in order to upgrade the bilateral relations between them to the highest levels of cooperation and partnership.
There is an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Tunisia and Pakistan are determined to go together.

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