With pride and joy, Tunisia yesterday celebrated the 61st anniversary of independence. Today, we are honouring a country of more than 3,000 years of history and rich cultural heritage, the country of deep rooted traditions of openness, peace and progress. Today, we honour the sacrifices made by the Tunisians in the name of dignity, freedom and democracy.
Sri Lanka has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Tunisia for several years. At present, both countries place focus on rebuilding their tourism sectors. Tunisia enjoys free access to European Union markets with over 3,000 international organisations based there. Its market is conducive to overseas entrants with investors from Sri Lanka encouraged. In 2009, the World Economic Forum ranked Tunisia as the most competitive economy in Africa and the 40th in the world. Tunisia emerges as the first country in the Arab world to succeed in transition to democratic rule. The existing leadership is determined to further enhance its relations of friendship and cooperation with Tunisia’s traditional partners, and pledged to place Tunisia’s relations with emerging Asian countries among the top priorities of its foreign policy.
Honorary Consul General for Tunisia in Sri Lanka Mukthar Marikkar expressed his confidence in the signs of a growing mutual interest by the business communities of Sri Lanka. The past years have been marked by the participation of Sri Lankan business delegations visiting Tunis.
We are confident that such visits will multiply considering the opportunities that exist in our two friendly countries. We are also confident that cooperation between our two nascent democracies has the potential to grow bigger under the new Tunisian and Sri Lankan leaderships.
On this occasion, we would like to express our wishes to take ties of friendship and cooperation that happily exist between our two countries to new heights, and to invite the Sri Lankan business community to explore the tremendous opportunities that exist in Tunisia.
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