The Tunisian Prime Minister, who is making a two-day official visit in Berlin, pointed out that “Tunisia is a bridge between Europe and Africa.”
He reaffirmed the determination of the national unity government to encourage foreign investment in Tunisia.
Chahed also stressed the importance of the co-operation relations between Tunisia and the Federal Republic of Germany, recalling Berlin’s commitment to support the democratic transition in Tunisia.
Speaking of the economic and security challenges facing Tunisia, Youssef Chahed pointed to the recovery of phosphate production and the revitalization of the tourism and agricultural sectors, hoping to see the national economy experience a new dynamic thanks to the development projects undertaken in the country’s interior regions.
The Tunisian Prime Minister also reiterated Tunisia’s commitment to realizing the objectives of the Tunisian revolution in terms of employment, freedom and national dignity, expressing the wish that the next municipal elections contribute to strengthening decentralization and job creation, in particular for young people.
A significant number of graduates do not have the necessary qualifications to meet the labour market needs, Youssef Chahed pointed out, highlighting the importance of taking on additional training, which could be one of the axes of co-operation between Tunisia and Germany.
In response to a question on the future of political Islam in Tunisia, Chahed affirmed that “Tunisia has succeeded in building consensus between religious-oriented parties and secular parties; this will help move forward on the path of democratic transition,” he said.
To another question on the situation of the tourist sector, after the terrorist attacks that had targeted the Bardo Museum and a hotel in Sousse in 2015, the PM considered that “the terrorist attack on a hotel in Sousse that took place in June 2015 had sought to damage Tunisian tourism, but the country has taken the necessary measures to protect tourist facilities.”
He added that “the country is currently working to put in place programmes to revitalise its tourism and diversify its markets”.
For his part, Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and former President of the European Parliament, stressed in his welcome address the strength of Tunisian-German relations, noting that “immigration and refugees are far from being the only subjects at the center of the talks and the historical relations between the two countries.”