23 JANUARY 2002

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BOV Chairman meets Tunisian Minister during business visit

"Bank of Valletta is satisfied with the economic achievements made by Tunisia which have enabled the country to play a major role by offering substantial investment and partnership opportunities. Bank of Valletta is keen to participate in this success through financing and realising investment projects in Tunisia." This was expressed by Joseph F X Zahra, Chairman of Bank of Valletta, as reported by the Tunisian newspaper La Presse, which was covering a meeting the BOV Chairman had with Mr Fethi Merdassi, Minister of the International and External Investment Cooperation. The meeting formed part of the BOV Chairman’s business visit to Tunisia last week.

Referring to the Bank’s presence in Tunisia since its opening of a representative office in Tunis in October 2000, Mr Zahra said that, "Bank of Valletta is fully conscious of the potential offered by the Tunisian market. This has spurred BOV to set up a presence to promote business development and identify new niche markets where Maltese and Tunisian entrepreneurs could cooperate together."

It was reported that Mr Zahra expressed his satisfaction with respect to the level of cooperation existing between the two countries and the cooperation between institutions in both countries to promote and develop such cooperation further.

The Tunisian newspaper La Presse explained that Minister Merdassi outlined the major items and important projects concerning different sectors relevant to the 10th Development Plan. He also summarised the investment and partnership opportunities that can be offered to the Bank, mainly in the privatisation and realisation of projects within the industrial and services sectors.

Mr Merdassi mentioned that the privileged relationships between Tunisia and Malta with the European Union, besides their remarkable potentialities, are also considered as being good assets which facilitate the realisation of important common projects that would attract new investment and tap new external markets.

During the visit in Tunisia, Mr Zahra who was accompanied by Mr Tom Anastasi Pace, BOV’s Chief Officer Financial Markets, had the opportunity to meet with other Tunisian officials including the Governor of Tunisia’s Central Bank, the Chairman of the Stock Exchange, the Chairman of the Tunisian-Libyan Bank for the Development and External Trade (BTLD), the President of the Tunis Chamber of Commerce and the Director General of FIPA.



The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
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