3.4.4 Direct professional co-operation
The professional exchange programs in the cultural field benefit from government support. They mainly focus on French-speaking countries due to language factor- as most Tunisians speak French and to historical relations including Mediterranean countries.
The Ministry of Culture partially organizes training courses for professionals and practitioners in the culture sector through cooperation with other foreign ministries of culture, such as French Ministry of Culture, Italian Ministry of Culture or through grants provided by international organizations such as UNESCO, OIF or by foreign cultural centers and several embassies in Tunisia such as French Institute of Tunisia, and the German Goethe Institute in Tunis. Other professional training exchange is also performed in cooperation with the EU and incorporates several areas such as heritage, audiovisual and intellectual property.
The Ministry of Culture provides travel grants (mainly logistic support, flight tickets and per diems) to support artists’ participation in international exhibitions and workshops; music festivals; and concerts, including exemption of artworks from taxes and transportation fees. Most of the applications for grants are examined at the central level; though, there is criticism of the evaluation criteria in terms of transparency and bureaucracy. In addition, the Ministry of culture provides grants for participation in international book fairs where publishers can apply for a grant to support transport expenses.