Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (L) meets with his Tunisian counterpart Youssef Chahed during his visit in Tunis, capital of Tunisia, on Nov. 2, 2018. (Xinhua/Adele Ezzine)
TUNIS, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday that Italy will invest 165 million euros (188 million U.S. dollars) in development projects in Tunisia for the period 2017-2020.
Conte made the announcement at a joint press briefing with Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed during his one-day official visit to the North African country.
As Tunisia's largest commercial supplier and foreign investor, Italy has about 800 companies operating in Tunisia, creating no fewer than 60,000 jobs, Conte said.
The two officials also announced the launch of a new Italian credit line worth 50 million euros for Tunisia, as well as 7 million euros in support of the small and medium firms handling women's affairs or dealing with the youth in its poor areas.
Fighting illegal immigration is also high on the agenda during Conte's short visit.
"With Tunisia, we are working together ... particularly on the control of maritime borders, with the main purpose of fighting against illegal immigration and human trafficking," said Conte.
Since January, Tunisian authorities have intercepted more than 9,000 irregular attempts to cross the Mediterranean toward Europe, according to Chahed.