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Tunisia
Chamber of Commerce Country Factsheet Last update: 12.07.2018

Your advisors at the Chamber of Commerce

  • Sabrina Aksil
    +352423939374
  • Thomas Bertrand
    +352423939337
Contact us: maghreb@cc.lu

Key Indicators

Area
163,610 km2
Population
11,403,800 (July 2017 est.)
Government type
republic
Languages
Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight)
GDP
$135.9 billion (2017 est.)
Growth rate
2.3% (2017 est.)
HDI
97
Capital
Tunis

 

Introduction

Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in convincing the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country's first president, Habib BOURGUIBA, established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty, and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a "national unity government" was formed. Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef MARZOUKI as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012 and, after several iterations and a months-long political crisis that stalled the transition, ratified the document in January 2014. Parliamentary and presidential elections for a permanent government were held at the end of 2014. Beji CAID ESSEBSI was elected as the first president under the country's new constitution. CAID ESSEBSI’s term, as well as that of Tunisia’s 217-member Parliament, expires in 2019.

Source: The CIA World Factbook - Tunisia

 

Macroeconomic indicators

Tunisia's economy – structurally designed to favor vested interests – faced an array of challenges exposed by the 2008 global financial crisis that helped precipitate the 2011 Arab Spring revolution. After the revolution and a series of terrorist attacks, including on the country’s tourism sector, barriers to economic inclusion continued to add to slow economic growth and high unemployment.

Following an ill-fated experiment with socialist economic policies in the 1960s, Tunisia focused on bolstering exports, foreign investment, and tourism, all of which have become central to the country's economy. Key exports now include textiles and apparel, food products, petroleum products, chemicals, and phosphates, with about 80% of exports bound for Tunisia's main economic partner, the EU. Tunisia's strategy, coupled with investments in education and infrastructure, fueled decades of 4-5% annual GDP growth and improved living standards. Former President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (1987-2011) continued these policies, but as his reign wore on cronyism and corruption stymied economic performance, unemployment rose, and the informal economy grew. Tunisia’s economy became less and less inclusive. These grievances contributed to the January 2011 overthrow of BEN ALI, further depressing Tunisia's economy as tourism and investment declined sharply.

Tunisia’s government remains under pressure to boost economic growth quickly to mitigate chronic socio-economic challenges, especially high levels of youth unemployment, which has persisted since the revolution in 2011. Successive terrorist attacks against the tourism sector and worker strikes in the phosphate sector, which combined account for nearly 15% of GDP, slowed growth from 2015 to 2017. Tunis is seeking increased foreign investment and working with the IMF through an Extended Fund Facility agreement to fix fiscal deficiencies.

Source: The CIA World Factbook - Economic overview Tunisia

 

IMF Statistics: 

Subject descriptor20142015201620172018
Gross domestic product, constant prices
Percent change
2.2560.8001.5002.8003.500
Gross domestic product, current prices
U.S. dollars (Billions)
47.60543.58142.38841.66742.053
Gross domestic product per capita, current prices
U.S. dollars (Units)
4,328.6343,922.6533,776.7143,674.8893,671.473
Inflation, average consumer prices
Percent change
4.9244.8513.7453.9453.840
Volume of imports of goods and services
Percent change
2.622-1.7333.2961.9215.775
Volume of exports of goods and services
Percent change
4.180-2.8180.7504.3656.426
Unemployment rate
Percent of total labor force
15.30015.00014.00013.00012.000
Current account balance
U.S. dollars (Billions)
-4.341-3.849-3.397-2.881-2.581
Current account balance
Percent of GDP
-9.118-8.832-8.015-6.915-6.138
Colored cells are estimates

Source: IMF Statistics - Tunisia

 

Luxembourg and the country

Existing conventions and agreements

Non double taxation agreement 

In order to promote international economic and financial relations in the interest of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg government negotiates bilateral agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on fortune with third countries.

  • Convention from 27.03.1996  (Memorial 1999, A No.59, p.1376)
  • Effective as of 01.01.2000 (Memorial 1999, A No.59, p.1376)
  • Amendment of the Convention from 08.07.2015 (Memorial 2015, A No.232, p. 5038)
  • Effective as of 01.01.2017 (Memorial  2015, A No.232, p. 5038)

Air Services agreement

  • Agreement from 6.13.1960 (Memorial 1961, A, p. 1031)
  • Effective as of 16.10.1962 (Memorial 1962, A, p. 1109)

Source: Administration des contributions directes

 

Further information

Foreign Trade

The Statec Foreign Trade statistics provide information on the trade of goods - by product and by country. This information is collected respectively through the INTRASTAT declaration and on the basis of customs documents.

You can see the statistics on the website of the Statec.

Contact points in Tunisia

Luxembourg is represented by the Ambassade Royale des Pays-Bas à Tunis

In charge of consular affairs Ambassade du Royaume de Belgique à Tunis

 

Honorary Consuls

Honorary Consul with jurisdiction in TunisiaMr Jamel GUEMARA

50, rue Abdelaziz Thaalbi
El Menzah IX-B 1013 Tunis Tunisia
Tel: (+216) 71 87 07 85
GSM: (+216) 98 32 91 49
Email: jamelguemara(at)gmail.com / Consulat.luxembourg(at)gmail.com  

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg

 

Economic and Commercial Attaché (AWEX) in charge of Tunisia

Economic and Commercial AttachéMrs Besma BEN SALAH

AWEX TUNISi
4, rue Slaheddine Ayoubi
1002 – Tunis Belvédère
Tel.: (+216) 71 280 336 / (+216) 71 280 355
Fax (+216) 71 280 376
E-mail: b.bensalah(at)awex-wallonia.com

Source: AWEX

https://www.awex-export.be/fr/contacts/attaches-economiques-et-commerciaux/tunis-tunisie

Country risk as defined by Office du Ducroire for Tunisia

Ducroire is the only credit insurer covering open account deals in over 200 countries. A rating on a scale from 1 to 7 shows the intensity of the political risk. Category 1 comprises countries with the lowest political risk and category 7 countries with the highest. Macroeconomics experts also assess the repayment climate for all buyers in a country.

Link: Ducroire Office - Country Risk for Tunisia

 

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