Macron says France to double investment in Tunisia

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TUNIS, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Visiting French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that his country will double investment in Tunisia during his term.

Macron made the remarks during his address to the Tunisian Assembly of People’s Representatives, or the parliament, in the capital Tunis.

He said France will launch an emergency program worth 50 million euros (62.5 million U.S. dollars) for Tunisian small and medium-sized enterprises.

The French president also pledged to turn Tunisian debts into development projects, including the construction of a regional hospital in Gafsa, a province in southeastern Tunisia, which will cost about 80 million euros.

Meanwhile, Macron announced a 50-million-euro program to secure jobs for young Tunisians via the office of the French Development Agency in Tunis.

The unemployment rate in Tunisia stands at over 15 percent, and the number even doubles among graduates.

It is Macron’s first state visit to Tunisia since election in 2017, where he met with his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi and Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.