Tunisia’s Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi confirmed on Saturday, May 22, in Tripoli, his country’s desire to resume economic cooperation with Libya.
“This fraternal visit confirms the historical political, economic and human relations between the two countries,” the Tunisian prime minister told local media on his arrival in Tripoli before meeting his Libyan counterpart. “Our economies complement each other and everything that is beneficial to Libya is also beneficial to Tunisia,” he added.
Hichem Mechichi, who is making his first trip to Libya on Saturday and Sunday at the invitation of his Libyan counterpart Abdel Hamid Dbeibah, is accompanied by several government members and hundreds of business leaders who will attend an economic and financial forum in the Libyan capital.
Close economic and family ties between Libya and Tunisia have suffered due to the chaos following the fall of the Libyan regime. Muammar Gaddafi 2011, but Tunisia remains a major holiday and medical tourism destination, especially for residents of western Libya.
On Monday, the Tunisian national airline TunisAir resumed its flights to Libya, where two aircraft landed in Tripoli, the capital and Benghazi, in eastern Libya, becoming the first international company to serve the country since August 2014.
Libya was a large and growing outlet for Tunisia in 2011. But Tunis has seen trade collapse, especially since 2014.
Tunisia’s imports are now facing stiff competition from Turkey, and Tunisia is trying to regain its market share thanks to its return to calm. The repeated closures of the border due to the conflict and recently Covid-19 have undermined the circles of the informal economy that is watering down the Tunisian economic structure.