News Middle East06 Mar 2019

Tunisia:Local insurance sector wary of extended trade pact with EU

| 06 Mar 2019

The National Chamber of Insurance Agents has said that it has no interest in seeing Tunisia and the EU sign a deal to extend a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement known as ALECA (Accord de Libre Échange Complet et Approfondi).

Mr Moncef Felli, general secretary of the National Chamber of Insurance Agents, spoke of the deal's likely impact on the Tunisian insurance sector at a press conference organised by Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts last week.

According to local media reports, he referred to Tunisian insurers, saying, "Just take a look at the insurance market and the annual reports of companies. They are under-capitalised companies. They cannot compare with European companies in terms of competition, prices or the quality of services."

He added, "I do not see all these players in our market capable of competing with the European market. At the insurance level, we do not have any interest in having the ALECA signed. European insurance can be easily installed in Tunisia, but I cannot see a Tunisian insurance company moving to Paris or London."

Negotiations for ALECA were launched on 13 October 2015. At the third round of talks held last December, several new text proposals were presented by the EU side. These covered areas such as trade in goods, trade in services and investment, digital trade, sustainable development and investment protection. A fourth round of negotiations will be held in spring this year. The EU and Tunisia have already created a free trade area following the conclusion of the 1995 Association Agreement related to industrial goods.



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