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China, Tunisia Sign Agreement on Offering Preferential Loans
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China has signed an agreement with Tunisia on offering preferential loans to the North African country, said a source with the Information Office of the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.


The deal, together with two other agreements, was signed by Vice Minister Wei Jianguo and visiting Tunisian Minister of Development and International Cooperation Mohamed Nouri Jouini on Monday, the source said, without elaborating on the details.


The China-Tunisia forum on economic cooperation, which was jointly sponsored by China Import and Export Bank and the Tunisian Embassy in Beijing, was held in Beijing on Tuesday.


Officials and business people from the two countries attended the forum and held talks on increasing investment and economic cooperation between the two sides.


The bank's governor Li Ruogu said the sustained and fast development in Sino-African ties has opened a broad space for bilateral economic cooperation. By the end of 2005, the bank had approved loans to African countries worth 50 billion yuan (US$6.25 billion).


The bank's preferential loans to Tunisia came to 300 million yuan (US$37.5 million), the highest among the African countries, he said.


The Tunisian minister said Tunisia and China are important trade partners, hoping that Tunisia's fast economy growth will offer Chinese enterprises more investment opportunities.


There is a great potential for bilateral economic and trade cooperation, he said.


(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2006)

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