Interview: Tunisia boasts cultural assets to attract Chinese investment — minister

Tunisia’s cultural assets will be able to attract Chinese investors, Tunisian Culture Minister Mohamed Zine El-Abidine has said.

“Tunisia has a very important continental role in the Maghreb and the Arab zones,” Zine El-Abidine, who will participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14-15, told Xinhua in an interview Wednesday.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along, and beyond, the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

Zine El-Abidine said his country could act as a “mediator and moderator in the region” for cooperation under the initiative.

Referring to the key sectors in which Tunisia and China could establish a fruitful partnership, he cited tourism while recognizing the huge potential of the Chinese tourist market.

“For the Chinese, the Tunisian destination could constitute a world to discover because of its geographical, archaeological, historical, patrimonial and especially artisanal diversity,” he said.

“I know that the Chinese — strong in their intellectual, social and anthropological curiosity — will be able to help us in various fields including industry, environment and technology,” the minister added.

Zine El-Abidine called on the two countries to make preparations for a common future, which will focus on cultural investment in line with quantitative and qualitative standards.

According to the minister, there is “a real interest” in China to establish an important partnership with Tunisia, and the two countries’ cultural cooperation will have “more funding, projects and means.”

Indeed, this partnership will focus on the establishment of a Tunisian cultural center in Beijing and a Chinese one in Tunis.

“China has all the means and all the criteria to be a very beautiful cultural showcase in the world,” Zine El-Abidine said.

The minister, who has a doctorate in history and music science, described himself as a total admirer of the Chinese culture.


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