Vice-President of the Tunisian-Chinese Business Council Dhouha Chtourou said in an interview with AfricanManager that Tunisia currently has a trade deficit with China and that this is quite obvious, but points to the existence of a potential for exporting to the Chinese market.
“We still have the idea that China is an exporting country and that it is impossible to export, but we will show, as part of our activities on the board, that the Chinese market is the only second largest importer in the world after the United States. China is a market that imports almost all products.
There is a huge potential to export to China, “said the official, before adding that” the value of local exports to China remains very low and below expectations because Tunisia exports only phosphate and olive oil, “she said.
According to her statements, Tunisia has exported 60 million dinars to the Chinese market, describing this figure as very low. “We have a way to go in all sectors,” said the official, before announcing that the Tunisian-Chinese Business Council is currently working to promote a major event in China aimed primarily at balancing the trade balance of this country vis-à-vis its partners such as Tunisia.
In the same context, she said that the UTICA Business Council is a partner of the China Business Council, and will strengthen economic cooperation at the export and investment level.
“We want the Tunisian partners to be aware of this opportunity and to participate together, each with their own investment opportunities, whether in China or Tunisia. We have to go and see what can be sold there and the council will help identify the buoyant sectors on which Tunisia can bet”.
“All products that can be exported to Europe can be exported to China. The Chinese are open to all products. It’s a big market and a big consumer. And that is why we try, in the framework of the Tunisian-Chinese Business Council, to bring the two peoples closer together because the biggest obstacle of this cooperation is the lack of knowledge on both sides.
The Chinese do not know enough Tunisians and vice versa. We will try to strengthen this relationship of cultural knowledge,” she said.
In this vein, Dhouha Chtourou has called for programs to be put in place and to be much more present in the Chinese market through the events and fairs organized in this country.
“We must also go to the Chinese importers, offer our products and promote what we can export in this market,” said the official, noting that in the council, the effort is focused on identifying the most promising sectors, especially agribusiness.
“We are currently working on a study. China will help us through specific studies and the identification of areas where we need to increase our cooperation, “she added.