Coproduction to take the Tunisian economy to the next level

Coproduction to take the Tunisian economy to the next level

The Mediterranean Coproduction Observatory was founded by IPEMED in December 2014, and aims to show how coproduction [1] could be a way forward by analysing industrial policies in the North and South Mediterranean and the strategies of Euro-Mediterranean investors, including their behaviour, expectations and the difficulties they face in integrating with the local economy. The Observatory’s second report was published on 23 March 2016 and focuses on Tunisia.

Five years after the Jasmine revolution, Tunisia is still in political and democratic transition. However, in this changing context, the economy has been somewhat neglected. The Government needs to find a way to give young people hope and bring down unemployment. The country needs foreign investment but, since the Arab Spring, Tunisia seems a lot less attractive,” says Thibault Fabre, coordinator of the Mediterranean Coproduction Report.

With the worldwide recession and its ongoing security crisis, Tunisia is struggling to attract new foreign investment. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is stagnating at around $1.1 billion a year after a peak of $3.3 billion in 2006. Even France, the leading partner of the Tunisian economy, accounting for around 15% of FDI in 2014 and 1350 companies working there (out of 3220 foreign companies), seems to be playing the waiting game against the backdrop of ongoing developments in Tunisia and the implementation of reforms.

Nevertheless, Tunisia has a strong industrial base that is ripe for the development of high-quality coproduction and leading companies in each key sector. Analysing the coproduction strengths and opportunities in the country reveals sectors that have historically led the way (ICT, mechanical industry, textiles) and others that could open up (renewable energy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals and agribusiness).

Having analysed the characteristics of European FDI in Tunisia and identified the sectors ripe for the development of coproduction, the Observatory report offers recommendations for renewing Tunisia’s appeal for investors and taking the Tunisian economy to the next level.

The next Observatory report is due before the summer and will focus on Morocco.


The European Investment Bank (EIB) is investing an additional €250 million for road infrastructure and SMEs

During his visit to Tunisia in February Román Escolano, Vice-President of the EIB, officially announced that the EIB has signed funding contracts for a total of €250 million (TND 554 million) to modernise Tunisian infrastructure and increase support for entrepreneurs via refinancing facilities for the local banking sector. This brings the Bank’s overall finance injection since the 2011 revolution to around €1.5 billion (TND 3.3 billion) for new projects in key sectors of the Tunisian economy such as energy, private sector support, infrastructure, education or social housing.

[1] Coproduction is defined as the joint development of a value chain, involving at least one stakeholder from the Southern Mediterranean and long-term investments.