APTBEF President proposes signing of agreement between Tunisian and Italian banks to boost trade and finance | Tunisia News Gazette

APTBEF President proposes signing of agreement between Tunisian and Italian banks to boost trade and finance

President of the Tunisian Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (French: APTBEF) Ahmed el Karam proposed to sign a memorandum of understanding between the Tunisian and Italian banks to boost trade and financial activities in the two country.

Speaking at the “Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue on Financial Services,” organised on Friday in Tunis, he considered that this memorandum should be signed through the APTBEF and the Italian Federation of Banking, Insurance and Finance. Its objectives will be to inform the banks in both countries of the changing economic situation and to supervise the Tunisian and Italian businessmen in their trading and investment operations by guiding them and securing the required financing.

The agreement will also help Italian businessmen take cognisance of projects in Tunisia, settle disputes between entrepreneurs and train bankers through the organisation of internships in Italian banks and vice-versa. He also suggested holding an annual meeting between the Tunisian and Italian bankers to take stock of this collaboration and develop joint projects.

El Karam said trade between the two countries points to a trade deficit of 1.1 billion dinars to the detriment of Tunisia, calling for the need to identify ways to develop Tunisian exports to Italy.

“In addition, there is a lot of work to be done in the field of tourism, especially since Tunisia accused, during the period 2010-2016, a decline in tourist arrivals of 80% in the Italian market. The number of Italians who visited the country tumbled 350 thousand tourists in 2010 and only 72 thousand in 2016,” he specified.

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“Similarly, transfers by Tunisian residents in Italy at the number of 120 thousand persons remain modest and do not exceed 54 million dinars, hence the need to provide mechanisms between the two countries to encourage them to transfer liquidity and invest in Tunisia.”

For his part, Italian Federation of Banking, Insurance and Finance President Paolo Garonna called for working together to develop the two economies. The aim is to create bridges to Africa and the rest of the world.

Referring to the development the financial system in Italy, he pointed out that his country has gone beyond the very difficult phase of the crisis and is currently experiencing stability and a return of investor confidence thanks to the structural reforms undertaken with the support of the European Union and opening up to the world market.

Italy’s ambassador in Tunis Raimondo De Cardona assured that Tunisia can rely on Italian banks to help it turn into a banking and financial hub.

Source: TAP News Agency

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