Leather and footwear exports from Tunisia quadrupled to EUR 550 million in 2019 from ten years earlier, as per numbers provided to ANBA by Tunisia’s ambassador to Brasília, Mohamed Hedi Soltani.
He said the Tunisian administration intends to see twice as much in export revenues by 2030, by relying on strategies including offering a variety of higher value-added products.
In order to attain that goal, Tunisia is planning to attract foreign investment into the industry. According to ambassador, Tunisia is a fast, cost-efficient country to start a project in, with attractive production costs compared with other Mediterranean countries. He adds that the country sits at the heart of the Euro-Mediterranean logistics chain, less than a three-hour flight away from European metropolises.
Tunisia’s location gives it access to European countries as well as African and Gulf ones, where growth is solid and purchasing power is high.
The ambassador mentions Tunisia’s preferential and bilateral agreements, including free trade agreements with the European Union, Turkey, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq and Libya.
Another agreement has established a pan-Arabic free trade zone comprising 18 League of Arab States countries.
Additionally, just under two years ago, Tunisia became the 20th member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
According to Soltani, the country streamlined administrative procedures to make life easier for foreign investors, and it made a one-stop-shop available to quickly address all the necessary formalities that starting a business in Tunisia entails.
Tax and financial incentives available to businesses, particularly exporting ones, include VAT-free exports and imports of raw material and equipment.
Locally-sourced goods and services are also eligible for VAT exemption. Profits on equity investments in foreign currency can be wired abroad freely.
Companies in services and industry get a four-year grace period on taxes levied on revenue as well as corporate taxes, among other advantages.