CI VIEW: Tunisia economic revival linked to Baltimore/Bizerte Sister City initiative UPDATE

BALTIMORE/BIZERTE (CI MENA) — (Updated on November 10, 2017 to add interview with Groupe Loukil Chief Executive Bassem Loukil and Africa Maghreb Bank (AM Bank) – America’s fastest growing city is becoming the key driver in reviving the fortunes of the Arab world’s first representative democracy – Tunisia through the nascent Sister City partnership between Baltimore, Maryland and the ancient and strategic port city of Bizerte,Tunisia.

[Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Tunisian Member of Parliament and highest elected official of Bizerte, Ali Belakhoua filmed by Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass agreeing on Sister City partnership during Congressional Black Caucus Foundation ALC in Washington, DC. September 20, 2017]

Tunisia’s strategic importance was formalized by President Barack Obama when he declared the North African nation as America’s most strategic non-NATO US ally and the nation’s strategic importance for the US continues with President Donald J. Trump under the leadership of US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Ali Belakhoua, a Tunisian Member of Parliament and highest elected official of Bizerte, met with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference in Washington DC on September 20 and agreed to go ahead with a formal signing during the IMF World Bank Annual meeting on October 10-15, 2017.   

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CI VIEW: Fiat-Chrysler Marchionne seeks merger with Korea’s Hyundai; China Great Wall stalking horse UPDATE

WASHINGTON/MILAN (CI GCA) – (Update on September 25 2017 to add comments by South Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha and US House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Michigan) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) CEO Sergio Marchionne is now setting his sights on a merger with South Korea’s automotive giant The Hyundai Motor Group while at the same time using China’s Great Wall Motor Co as a stalking horse, sources close to the situation said.

[Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne speaks to Capitol Intelligence/CI GCA using CI Glass at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.]

It is understood that FCA CEO Marchionne began planting rumors of possible Chinese interest in FCA in June after being rebuffed first by General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary T. Barra and later by troubled Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkwagen Group (ETR:VOW3).

Jim Trainor, a Hyundai spokesman in the United States, said the company does not comment on market rumors. HMG, world’s fifth largest automotive manufacturer, owns the Hyundai and KIA automotive brands that operates US manufacturing plants in Montgomery, Alabama (Hyundai Santa Fe,, Sonata and Elantra and KIA (Santa Fe, Sorento) in West Point, Georgia.
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