Turkish and Chinese businessmen expressed their willingness to help Tunisia develop a modern railway network during a meeting held on Tuesday in Tunis with the Tunisian Ministry of Transportation.
Mehmet Nazif Gunal, chairman of Turkish company MNG and Zheng Changhong, president of SINOMACH International – a company specializing in railway construction – met with the Tunisian Minister of Transportation Abdelkarim Harouni to discuss means of developing Tunisia’s transportation infrastructure.
During the meeting, Harouni presented a briefing detailing the challenges currently facing Tunisia’s transportation sector.
“One of the shortcomings is the lack of interconnection between different regions, despite being a small country. This has, in a sense, contributed to the creation of differences between certain regions in terms of development,” he said.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Transportation, the government aims at increasing the capacity of Tunisia’s rail-transport system. “One of the priorities of the country is to establish a developed railway network and ensure a modern fleet to transfer people as well as goods,” said Harouni.
The minister also discussed the anticipated Maghreb High Speed Railway Line (LGV), which would connect Algeria to Libya through Tunisia with 800km of railway. Harouni also laid-out initiatives related to the creation of logistical zones in Tunisian ports and the establishment of a deep-water port.
The president of SINOMACH International expressed his interest in investing in rail transport projects in Tunisia and providing funding to help the country undertake the construction initiatives discussed during the conference.
Gunal, the chairman of Turkish MNG, in turn expressed his country’s desire to encourage investment in Tunisia. He stated that he was “optimistic” about the success of Tunisian-Turkish cooperation in the transport sector, and that the Tunisian business environment is, ”secure and transparent.”