Tunisia News Gazette | Covers all News from Tunisia | Page 4

More growth of tourism sector expected in 2018 according to Tourism Minister

Tourism Minister Selma Elloumi expects the sector to grow in the coming year, especially after the lifting of the travel ban by several countries including Great Britain, in addition to the schedule of the Tunisia destination by major tour operators.

Answering on Wednesday to the interventions of the deputies during a plenary session devoted to the examination of the budget of her department for the year 2018, the minister reviewed several indicators recorded in 2017, in particular the number of visitors who reached 6 million 112 thousand tourists, an increase of 24% compared to the same period of 2016.

Elloumi explained this rise by the development of the European market of 19.3%, and especially the traditional markets like France (527 thousand tourists), an increase of 47%, Russia (513 thousand tourists).

The number of German tourists grew by 42% and British by 19%.

The number of overnight stays has increased by 23% while the sector’s revenues have increased by 3%.

The minister also referred to the development of the Maghreb market (+ 32%), led by the Algerian market which achieved 2 million 100 thousand tourists, followed by Libya (1 million 176 thousand tourists).

As regards handicrafts, the minister emphasised the social role of the sector which provides income to 30 thousand artisans, besides its economic role with an export volume of 45 million dinars, an increase of 5.4%.

The number of operational craft villages has reached 9 with 181 spaces and providing 543 jobs.

Source: TAP News Agency

Olive oil price would fall to less than 10 dinars (Samir TaA�eb)

“The price of olive oil on the local market will have to fall to less than 10 dinars between December 2017 and January 2018 with the progress of the olive harvest season, Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Samir TaA�eb said.

In a statement to TAP, on Wednesday, on the sidelines of a tasting event of several varieties of Tunisian olive oil, at Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, on the occasion of World Olive Day, Taieb downplayed the question of rising prices for olive oil, saying that the average price of olive oil on the local market varies between 10 and 12 dinars.

The Minister also stressed that the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Office of Oil (ONH) and the private sector have expressed their commitment to intervene in order to reduce costs and regulate the market in case of observation of a higher prices for olive oil, however, ruling out an increase in prices.

He recalled that ONH intervened twice, during the past season to sell olive oil to the public. The office intervened in December 2016, to sell olive oil at eight dinars and during the month of Ramadan 2017 to ensure the sale of this commodity at 9 dinars.

The Minister of Agriculture has indicated that the harvest of olive oil for the season 2017/2018 varies between 260 and 280 thousand tonnes including 200 to 220 thousand tonnes are for export and 60 thousand tonnes will be injected on the local market, with a capacity of between 30 and 35 thousand tonnes.

Referring to the phenomenon of the theft of the olive harvest, Taieb noted that several working sessions were organised between the Ministries of Agriculture, Defense and Interior to coordinate daily and fight against this phenomenon.

The Minister of Agriculture stressed that the Japanese delegation invited to this event was impressed by the quality of Tunisian olive oil and expressed its commitment to buy quantities of olive oil.

He added that the Japanese consumer prefers to buy small capacity bottles of olive oil (less than 1 liter) and that the Japanese market remains a buoyant and new market for Tunisian olive oil.

Tunisia, he noted, aims for the new season to become the second largest exporter of olive oil after Spain, recalling that Tunisia has occupied, during the 2014-2015 season, the first place worldwide in the export of olive oil.

Tunisia exports olive oil to 54 international markets, mainly those of the European Union (56 thousand tonnes) followed by the USA (35 thousand tonnes including 7 thousand tonnes packaged).

Since November 2015, it has been chairing the International Olive Council (IOC).

Source: TAP News Agency

Agreement in Abidjan to implement programme reserved for Tunisia under German partnership mechanism “Compat with Africa”

On the sidelines of the fifth AU-EU summit, held in Abidjan, it was agreed Tuesday to materialise the programme reserved for Tunisia as part of the German partnership mechanism with Africa “Compact with Africa” providing for a total amount for our country of 465 million euros over three years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The first tranche of this programme provides for 165 million euros to consolidate reforms in the financial and banking sector, public finances, the promotion of investments and the strengthening of financing credits for small and medium-sized enterprises, the statement said.

Tunisia was chosen in the first group of African countries benefiting from this announced mechanism, on the occasion of the work of the G20 summit on partnership with the African continent held last June in Berlin, with the participation of President Beji Caid Essebsi, in the presence of some Heads of State and Government of African countries and senior officials of international financial institutions.

“The choice of Tunisia within this group of African countries benefiting from this initiative reflects the great confidence enjoyed by our country and the privileged level of Tunisian-German relations,” the statement said.

Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui commended this initiative “which constitutes a new framework for bilateral cooperation”, highlighting the constant German support to the transition process in Tunisia.

“Tunisia’s accession to this initiative will not fail to consolidate its position of emerging democratic country and ambition to build a competitive economy, achieve sustainable development and reaffirm its role as an important link in the cooperation between the European and African continents”, he said.

Source: TAP News Agency

Ministry of Equipment adopted control system to unveil any infringement that may lead to suspicions of corruption (Minister)

Minister of Equipment, Housing and Spatial Planning Mohamed Saleh Arafoui, said Wednesday that his department has adopted a system of control of executed projects that allows to unveil any infringement that may lead to suspicions of corruption.

Answering the deputies, during the examination of the draft budget of the ministry for the year 2018, he indicated that his department presented about 40 files to the justice, besides several reports revealing infringements or errors with the specialised authorities

The ministry of equipment, which is based on developed systems of public procurement management, works to minimise the risk of infringement that can lead to suspicions of corruption, said Arfaoui.

He added that his department is among the first public structures that have joined the system of public purchase online.

He also added that his ministry is working to publish on its website all the information related to all stages of the projects (announcement, publication of calls for tenders and implementation).

The ministry has managed to establish a quality system that helped it to obtain the ISO 9001 quality standard, said Arfaoui.

Source: TAP News Agency

Tunisia, UK driven by common will to fight terrorism

Bilateral cooperation and counter-terrorism efforts took centre stage as Minister in charge of Relations with Constitutional Bodies, Civil Society and Human Rights Mehdi Ben Gharbia met Tuesday in London with British Minister of State for Security at the Home Office Ben Wallace.

The two ministers said they reject “all forms of extremism and terrorism” and underlined common will to contend with extremist ideologies promoted by Daesh and terrorist groups.

“We are working in concert as part of partnership with civil society,” the officials were quoted as saying in a press release of the Ministry.

The British Minister commended Tunisia’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and reiterated the UK’s readiness to keep on underpinning its efforts.

Wallace also said a financial package of 33 MTD was earmarked for the support of Tunisia’s efforts in overhauling the security system and enhancing the security of tourists.

Source: TAP News Agency