Foreign Direct Investment in Tunisia

Overview by

FDI in Figures

For the last few years, foreign direct investments in Tunisia have evolved considerably. They currently represent 10% of productive investments, generate one third of the exports and 15% of the total number of jobs. The decline in FDI in 2009 (fall of 34.5%) seems to have been only temporary, as in the first half of 2010 the country grew by 8.9% over the previous year, with 446 million euros.

Recent events, namely the political revolution that erupted in the country at the beginning of 2011, led to a decline in Foreign Direct Investment. But this situation should not continue and the investment environment should quickly improve, notably through the launch of new infrastructure projects within the country.

The main investment sectors are textile, computer science, corporate services, energy and tourism. The sectorial distribution today shows a definite orientation towards industrialization.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Tunisia Middle East & North Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 5.0 6.3 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 5.0 4.6 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 3.4 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.3 4.8 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 2007 2008 2009
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 1,616 2,758 1,688
FDI Stock (million USD) 26,193 29,083 31,857
Performance Index*, Ranking on 141 Economies 75 42 46
Potential Index**, Ranking on 141 Economies 68 68 -
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 28 58 49
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 19.0 27.0 8.2
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 73.5 70.3 77.1

Source: UNCTAD

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Tunisia

Strong Points
The country's credit-worthiness guarantees its access to international capital markets. The growing diversification of the economy reinforces its resistance to economic crises. Tunisia enjoys a strategic location on the Mediterranean. Tunis is on average, at a 2 hour flight from the major European capitals. A well developed social system and an ambitious education policy aim to reduce the social cost of adjustment and to reinforce the modernization of the country. Tunisia has a qualified, productive workforce at competitive salary levels.
In addition, the 2007 Finance Law, together with measures in favor of technological innovation and economic competitiveness, provide a very favorable environment for SMEs. Two tools were created at the end of 2006 in order to facilitate the emergence of new companies, the Bank of financing Small and Medium Enterprises (BFPME) to finance innovative projects, and the Tunisian Guarantee Company (SOTUGAR) to reassure backers and guarantee the profitability of projects.
Weak Points
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Over the last few decades, Tunisia has chosen to liberalize its economy even more and to integrate it in the world economy. The list of measures established by the government to encourage FDI is available on the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) website.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Tunisia
Tunisia is a signatory to agreements on guaranteeing and protecting investments with several countries.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Acquisition of Holdings
Possible but you must obtain a business card from the Foreign Trade Services.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Agency for the promotion of foreign investment
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The agency for the promotion of foreign investment in the country gives information about the authorizations necessary for setting up business.
Find Investment Service Providers in Tunisia on

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Agency for the Promotion of Investment
The Tunisian Export Exchange
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Tunisia
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects in Tunisia
Prime Ministry, Public Procurement Site of Tunisia
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

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