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Tunisia at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. By its central Mediterranean position, its competitive and growth and its preferential treaties with numerous partner countries, Tunisia offers access to numerous markets for companies that desire to develop their activities.
Tunisia is a privileged partner of the European Union. Its geographic proximity to Europe is also an advantage for Tunisia. The relationship is a close one economically, culturally and socially.
From January 1st 2008, Tunisia was the first country of the southern Mediterranean shore to join the Free Trade Area of the European Union. The associative free trade treaty gives access to the EU market:
Tunisian exports to the European Union market have undergone a remarkable evolution. Their part in the export total increased from 51% in 1976 to 73.2% in 2010. Nearly 80% of exports to the European Union are industrial products. Through the dynamic quality of its ready-to-wear clothing sector, Tunisia is the fourth exporter of clothing to the EU.
Tunisia benefits from reduced tariffs granted in the context of the General System of Preference (GSP), for manufactured and agricultural and handmade products with Japan, Canada, the USA, Switzerland and Australia.
The country also benefits from a preferential access to certain African markets (Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Niger).
Investment is free for nationals and foreigners in many economic sectors.
A foreign investor can hold up to 100% of project equity without prior authorization in most sectors. Some non-exporting services must be authorized when foreigners hold the majority of shares.
Foreigners investing in agriculture can hold up to 66% of companies’ capital. Agricultural land can be farmed under long term leases.
Shares in operating Tunisian companies can be freely purchased up to 50% of capital without authorization.
Foreign investors can repatriate profits and proceeds from the sale of foreign currency invested capital.
The Tunisian Dinar has been convertible for current transactions since 1994. Any foreign company with its head office in Tunisia is able to transfer all capital income, both for commercial transactions and those linked to production.
Public services projects are open to Tunisian and foreign firms within the concession program. Significant public projects have been achieved or are in progress (power stations, airports, waste treatment, etc.).
In the last few years, foreign investment increased in high added value industries for which Tunisia has significant comparative advantages.
Tunisia continues to be an attractive host country for foreign investment. Foreign direct investment (excluding portfolio investments) increased from 402.9 million TND in 1997 to 2 165 MTND in 2010.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) made in 2010 represents 14.1% of GFCF, 3.5% of GDP, 38.5% of external capital inflows and 18% of newly created jobs.
The preponderance of foreign investment is obvious in the manufacturing industry. In 2010, the sectoral breakdown of FDI outside the energy sector ranks manufacturing in the first place with 573.6 MTD or 67.6% of total FDI, followed by the service sector with an investment volume of 176.5 million dinars or 20.8% of total flows and tourism with an investment volume of 95 million dinars and a share of 11.3%.
Partnership plays a major role as nearly half of foreign companies have mixed capitals; they are associated with Tunisians in joint venture. 76% of foreign firms export their entire production.
The distribution of FDI in Tunisia by country of origin reveals the predominance of the countries of the European Union with in the first place United Kingdom with 439.9 million dinars, Italy with 325.6 million dinars and France with 254.4 million dinars in 2010.
PwC in Tunisia offers a large range of expertise in order to support their clients in the different stages of their development and investments in Tunisia.
In PwC Tunisia, we strive to provide quality service to each client as we help develop solutions to their individual challenges. For your investment projects in Tunisia, our team in PwC Tunisia can offer you a large range of services along with the necessary cultural insight and a complete understanding of the regulatory aspects.
Our range of services covers: