Home / Why Tunisia? / Outward Orientation

A- A A+

Outward Orientation

Bookmark and Share

With 1,300 km of coastline, Tunisia is naturally outward looking. Its exports amounted to nearly 30 % of its GDP. Foreign direct investment, in turn, represents a share of about 10 % of gross fixed capital formation (GFCF). This reflects the significant interaction of the Tunisian economy with the outside.

Opening towards the European Union’s Market

Following the Association and free trade agreement with the European Union, signed in 1995, Tunisia became an Advanced EU Partner in November 2012. This status grants Tunisia commercial benefits, strengthening its economic agreements with the EU and thus giving priority to its exports to European markets.

The negotiations towards the signature of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) are currently underway to ensure the progressive integration of Tunisia in the internal market of the EU and to build a Common Economic Space.

In 2015, the value of exports to the EU reached 9.5 billion €, making Europe the largest economic and trade partner of the country.

Regional and International Integration

  • Tunisia is signatory to 52 double taxation conventions and 54 bilateral agreements on investment promotion and protection.
  • Tunisia is an original member of the World Trade Organization since 1995.

As part of its policy to promote and diversify its trade, Tunisia has signed a number of preferential bilateral and multilateral agreements:

  • • A bilateral agreement establishing a free trade area with Turkey,

  • A Free Trade Area Agreement with EFTA countries,

  • The Agadir Free Trade Agreement between Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia,

  • Bilateral agreements establishing a free trade area with Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Iraq,

  • An agreement establishing the Pan-Arab Free Trade Zone with 18 countries of the League of Arab States.

Tunisia joined the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises in 2012.

  • Tunisia became the 20th member of COMESA in July 2018.

A Regional Hub

Tunisia is a preferred site for investors wishing to serve neighbouring markets like the Algerian and Libyan markets. It also stands as a regional platform to cover on the one hand, the European countries and on the other hand, African countries as well as the Arab Gulf where countries enjoy strong growth and high purchasing power.

Preferential Access to Several Markets

Tunisia benefits from reduced tariffs granted under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which promotes the integration of countries into the multilateral trading system and contributes to promoting development through trade.

The GSP covers a wide range of exported products mainly manufactured, agricultural and craft goods with the United States, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Australia.

Tunisia also enjoys preferential access to markets in several African countries in the framework of bilateral agreements.

New Tunisia, New opportunities

All videos