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HomeFeatured NewsTunisian exporters, go ahead, the world is watching!

Tunisian exporters, go ahead, the world is watching!

The best defense is a good offence: this is the motto that Tunisian exporting companies and export support structures have adopted and are successfully applying.

An encouraging example. According to the Technical Center for Textiles (CETTEX), Tunisia’s exports to France, the country’s fourth-largest clothing supplier, grew by 23.64% in the first six months of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021, for a value of 416.6 million euros.

Similarly, Tunisia’s exports to Italy (Italy’s 4th clothing supplier) amounted to 283.7 million euros in the 6 months to 2022, posting a growth of +26.83% compared with the same period last year (+7.57% compared with 2019).

Tunisian exports to Germany and Belgium went up 37% and 8% respectively.

The CETTEX confirms, moreover, a return in force of renowned foreign investors towards the Tunisian site, a confirmation of increase by 60% of orders for HIGH BRANDIND in large companies, during the year 2022.

It is also about the intentions of nearly 40% of the European clients who carry out their production in Asia to redirect their modes of supply towards nearby countries and 343 reported projects which can create 7376 new jobs with a global investment of 97,9MD.

As the Tunisian Economic Observatory pointed out in an old but still relevant report: “In the context of a trade balance, both global and agri-food, which is in deficit, as in the Tunisian context, increasing the value of exports and limiting the value of imports are the two possible solutions. Increasing the value of exports is the most plausible alternative because of the opportunities it offers in terms of increasing production and adding value to products.

In this context, the major contribution of the Export Promotion Centre (CEPEX) to this dynamic should be highlighted.

Waking up, in turn, from the general lethargy that has hit the whole country and its various components during the last period, CEPEX has recently multiplied initiatives to rekindle the flame of foreign trade and contribute to boosting Tunisian exports, seeking to facilitate the task of Tunisian exporters and businesspeople.

It has concocted a rich and varied “export agenda” of participations in international fairs and exhibitions for the year 2023 in various countries of the world, Algeria, Libya, the Netherlands, England, Spain and Ghana, among others.

Among these, the mission of Tunisian businesspeople in Libya, B2B, on 6 and 7 March, with the participation of 60 Tunisian exporting companies, operating in the food industry, the building and public works sector, construction materials, in addition to the International Fair of Tripoli, the exhibition “Food and Drink Events” in London in the United Kingdom from March 20 to 22, in parallel with a business mission in Accra in Ghana from March 14 to 18 and the Algerian Exhibition of the building “Bâtimatec”.

Similar events, on Tunisian soil, have also been scheduled, including B2B meetings from June 21 to 23 at the CEPEX headquarters, at the exporter’s house, devoted to the textile and clothing sector with Italian, Polish and Dutch buyers, with the aim of developing Tunisian exports in the sectors of ready-to-wear, jeans, lingerie, swimwear and workwear to Italy, Poland and the Netherlands.


This redeployment comes at the right time to confirm the expectations of Tunisian operators and businesspeople.

The first meeting organized by CEPEX as part of the resumption of its “export mornings”, on Friday, February 17, under the title “where to export in 2023” saw the participation of more than 130 Tunisian exporters and businesspeople representing some 90 companies.

On the same day, a memorandum of understanding was signed between CEPEX and its counterpart in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At the same time, a coordination structure was set up at the level of the Ministry of Trade and Export Development under the name of “Tunisia Export Team”, whose task is to unify and coordinate export promotion activities both internally and externally.

Coordination in this area is very important. Indeed, different Tunisian actors may be tempted to propose promotional events on the same theme in the same country, which is not appropriate.

According to officials, Tunisia exports to 200 countries, which is good, but the same exporter has an interest in targeting a very limited circle of countries, two or three.

Participation in international fairs and exhibitions is not free and can be costly, so an assessment should be carried out to identify strengths and weaknesses.

The OTE report mentions that Tunisian exports covered imports in terms of value in 2005, 2006 and 2009, while Tunisia still has a trade surplus with some major European countries.

A number of analysts have argued that the international context is rather favorable for Tunisia in terms of exports, noting that part of global demand is focused on consumer goods that Tunisia produces and can produce in large quantities, such as manufacturing, agri-food products or phosphate fertilizers.


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