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Tunisia: Slow dissemination of e-business

The Laboratory of Digital Innovation for Competitiveness of  Tunisian  Enterprises  (LINCET) has drawn a study on “ICT dissemination and  Tunisian companies’ involvement in e-business.”

According to figures provided, 10% of Tunisia GDP come from ICT sector recording a 28,2%  growth between 2007 and 2008. The study explains this increase by State incentives including the sector upgrading.

In terms of benchmarking,  , the ICT market in EU countries accounts for 644 billion euros, representing more than 5% of GDP in 2006, the sector which provides 3.4% employment in EU countries registered a  50% productivity growth .
A comparison study, relating to the status of Tunisia in terms of technological ability, accessibility and regulations. shows that  Tunisia is outranking  Maghreb and African countries.
As for e-business intensity, the study noted an increase in terms of ICT infrastructure, but a poor dissemination of electronic processes and e-business.

Comparatively, UK and Germany are the most advanced countries, while Spain is involved in a dynamic development, France is experiencing a deep digital divide between SMEs and big companies and Poland a small gap.

The study highlights “a remarkable development in the dissemination of technological infrastructure in Tunisia, such as Internet where it rose from 56.6% up to 90.9%.

Regarding  Internet use  in Tunisia, it remains limited, according to the study which specifies that the search and mail and component has  the largest share with 58.5%, while the mail component represents 25.8 %, search 11.9%  and all others 3.8%.

On the other hand, a small budget is allocated to investment in  ICT sector where the overwhelming majority of companies (91.3%) spend less than  25%, while those investing between 75 and 100%  represent only 1.6% of the total.

On the adoption of management solutions and sharing knowledge, the study evokes of “restricted” part. However, ERP solution ranks first with 13.9%, followed by e-billing (10.7%), monitoring systems (8.8%). E-learning and KMS are the lowest with 1.3% and 0.3%.

Finally, the study pointed out that activities related to buying and selling online are restricted among Tunisian companies. Only orders are on the rise with 18.3%, followed by storing and tenders (respectively 11; 1% and 9; 6%); sales and payments don’t exceed 7.3% and 3.9%.

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