The 12th Session of the India-Tunisia Joint Commission was held in New Delhi on October 30, 2017. The Indian delegation was led by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India and the Tunisian delegation was headed by Mr. Khemaies Jhinaoui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia. This was the first time India-Tunisia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held at the Foreign Ministerial level.
The JCM enabled a comprehensive review of the bilateral relationship between India and Tunisia and also detailed discussions on the further strengthening and future directions of growh of bilateral cooperation. During the session, wide ranging exchange of views of important regional and global issues of mutual interest took place.
Both the countries noted with deep satisfaction the continuation of the long-standing, close and friendly relations and the mutual understanding and goodwill that have enabled the substantial enhancement of bilateral cooperation in political, economic and cultural areas.
The Indian side noted the successful transition to democracy by Indian and extended all possible support in their building of democratic institution of Tunisia.
To give a new impetus to bilateral relations, a Roadmap for India-Tunisia partnership was initiated by EAM and Tunisian Foreign Minister, to energize the relations.
To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, it was decided to hold a year-long Festival of India in Tunisia and Festival of Tunisia in India in 2018.
As part of India’s soft assistance under IAFS, an MoU was signed for establishment of Soil, Water and Tissue Testing Laboratory in Tunis.
The Government of Tunisia announced that it would become a partner country in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and expressed its willingness to join its various programmes. The Tunisian side appreciated India’s initiative for holding the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference in New Delhi on 08 December, 2017.
The Tunisian side shared Indian concerns on terrorism and agreed to fight against terrorism, extremism, radicalism, drugs and organized crime and in the field of security including cyber security.
In order to expand bilateral trade and investment, both countries proposed to reach the bilateral trade to USD 1 billion in the next five years. The Indian side called for greater market access in pharma and fertilizer sectors. Two new Joint Working Groups were decided to be set up – JWG on Trade to remove barriers in trade and expand volume and range of trade, and JWG on Agriculture to expand cooperation in agriculture and agro products. Apart from enhancing the capacity of existing India-Tunisia Joint Venture in fertilizers sector, by encouraging new projects including in the areas of mining and development of Rock Phosphate. The Tunisian side assured Indian side that all steps will be taken to ensure full capacity operation of the TIFERT plant. India offered to extend concessional Lines of Credit to facilitate transportation of raw material to TIFERT.
Both countries agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, infrastructure, transport and automobiles, textiles, agriculture, drugs & pharmaceuticals, healthcare, ICT, SMEs and energy.
Six agreements in the fields of Judicial Cooperation, Cooperation in Youth Matters, ICT, Trade and Business were signed.
October 30, 2017