Tunisian Economy Minister Ridha Saidi (L) and German Minister Philipp Rösler
Tunisia’s Economy Minister Ridha Saidi and his German counterpart Philipp Rösler have formally announced a Tunisian-German partnership in the fields of energy and alternative energy
.Speaking to reporters, Saidi said that the agreement would allow Tunisia to develop its electricity network and gain political support for numerous energy projects in the future.
German minister Rösler said that the partnership will be implemented and overseen by a high-profile committee featuring representatives from the two governments and technicians. He confirmed that the partnership is the second of its kind that Germany has signed with one of the Maghreb countries this year, praising Tunisia's energy infrastructure and development of wind and solar energies. He stressed that the North African state could benefit from German experiences and technologies in this regard.
Rösler also expressed the desire of German companies to invest in Tunisia’s energy sector, adding that the agreement would achieve notable gains for both countries.
Meanwhile, Tunisian fuel stations witnessed a gasoline shortage on Tuesday, against the backdrop of a strike organised by fuel transportation companies. Tunisian Union of Oil and Chemicals called for an increase in gasoline prices and a reduction in working hours to 40 per week. It also demanded better salaries for workers in the sector. The protests forced Canadian petroleum company Winstar to close its company offices in Tataween governorate, south Tunisia, with workers being forced to evacuate two oil fields. Tataween's governor wrote a letter to the Canadian company's headquarters and pledged to pay the wages of labourers and workers until the issue is resolved.
On the other hand, International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of International Bank, expressed its support for the Tunisian private sector with the allocation of a $84 million funding package. In a statement, the International Bank said that IFC had signed an agreement with Tunisia’s Security Bank to support small businesses, adding that they would invest in cooperation with the Tunisian bank.
Earlier this week, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced that the International Bank had approved the government's request for $500 million to support the 2013 budget. An International Bank official stressed that his institution would provide the Tunisian government with the loan, if it managed to show economic growth in the next six months.