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Iran to build biggest trade center in Tunis

7/23/04 Rome, July 23, IRNA -- An agreement for the construction of an Iranian trade center in Tunisia was signed between representatives of the private sectors of the two countries in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Friday.

Iranian Ambassador to Tunis Seyed Baqer Sakhaei told IRNA that the signed document provides that the trade center, which is to be Iran's biggest so far, will be a showcase of Iranian technical and industrial products and service.

"The Tunisian partner has allocated 3,500 square meters to house the center and construction will get underway as soon as the feasibility studies are completed and preliminary steps are undertaken.

"Once the trade center is completed, Iranian and Tunisian businessmen can have greater interaction and be informed of each each other's demands and capabilities," he added.

Turning to Tunis as a gateway to the highly attractive North African market, he said that the trade center to be constructed in Tunis will will give Iran access to the market in Tunisia as well as to the entire market and business opportunities in North Africa.

The diplomat, moreover, said that the trade center will also be a stepping stone for exports of domestic products to EU member states given that Tunisia enjoys special trade ties and taxation agreements with the EU.

Annual trade exchanges between Iran and Tunisia is estimated at 45 million dollars, which is below the desired level.

The two countries' lack of awareness of each other`s capabilities mainly accounts for their failure to expand the above-stated trade volume despite their market and business potentials.

The Republic of Tunisia, with a 10.162-million population and an area of 155K square kilometers, is bound by the Mediterranean Sea to the north and west, Libya to the southeast, and Algeria to the west.

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