- Aerolia, a French company has signed an agreement estimated at €60 million with the Tunisian government for the construction of a plant south of the capital Tunis, to produce front segments of Airbus planes, local news agency reported.
The plant which is expected to resume operations in 2010, is expected to employ 1,500 qualified personnel, the company's president Christian Cornille told local reporters at a press conference held in the capital.
According to the president, the reasons that prompted the company to build the plant in Tunisia were the high degree of competence of Tunisian engineers, the proximity to Europe, the logistics advantage of a nearby harbour, and the full support of the Tunisian government.
However, analysts are estimating that the current economic crisis will reduce aircraft orders by more than 50 percent.
A few days ago, the French government announced it would provide a package of aid amounting to $6.5 billion in state guarantees to help Airbus customers get financing for their purchases, according Tunisia online media.
Cornille downplayed the effects of the economic crisis on his company, stating he hoped that by 2010 they would be "less felt." He added further that Airbus had orders for some 3,700 planes throughout the world that it intended to honour.
Tunisia has a number of aeroplane parts companies which are moving into the country claiming it to be a cost reduction source due to its proximity to Europe yet companies get orders from Africa and the rest of the world.
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