Tunisia

Tunisia is a North African country located on the Mediterranean coast and bordering the Sahara Desert. The Bardo National Museum in Tunis, the capital, displays archaeological pieces ranging from Roman mosaics to Islamic art. The Medina district, with its bustling souk, encircles the imposing Zitouna Mosque. To the east, on the site of the ancient city of Carthage, are the Baths of Antonin.

General presentation

Official name: Republic of Tunisia Type of government: Semi-
presidential
Area: 162 155km2 Capital: Tunis Main cities: Tunis, Sfax, Gabes,
Sousse, Kairouan, Bizerte Official language(s): Arabic

National holiday: March 20

Population: 11.722 million
Density: 74 inhabitants/km2
Literacy rate: 80.9
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Economic situation

Tunisia entered the health crisis already very fragile, handicapped by many structural obstacles, which the political instability since the revolution has not allowed to lift. The average annual growth rate fell from 4.3% during the 2000s to 1.7% during the 2010s, the current account deficit from a range of 2 to 6% of GDP to a range of 8-11%. The decline in productivity and investment, from 25.4 to 17.8% of GDP between 2010 and 2019, has weakened Tunisia’s growth potential and competitiveness, undermining its external balances. The economy remains highly dependent on household consumption (73% of GDP), poorly diversified and exposed to the cyclical vagaries of the agricultural (9% of GDP) and tourism (5% of GDP, but up to 14% of GDP indirectly) sectors. The importance of a plethoric administration and non-performing public operators is a powerful brake on investment and the development of a competitive industry. The deterioration of the situation of a hundred or so public enterprises representing more than 10% of GDP and 100,000 jobs is particularly worrying. After a historic recession, the current pace of recovery would not allow a return to the level of activity before the crisis until 2024. The growth rate of Tunisian GDP reached 3.1% in 2021 according to the INS, after a drop of 8.7% in 2020. The recovery was slowed in 2021 by the continuation of restrictions imposed by the health crisis. Gross investment and savings rates, already considered insufficient, collapsed to 7.8 percent of gdP and 4 percent of gdP respectively in 2020. Since then, political instability and Tunisia’s high financing needs have hampered the economic outlook: the latest growth projections for 2022 are between 3.3% (IMF) and 3.5% (WB). The recovery will be slow compared to the countries of the region (excluding fragile and conflict-affected countries), according to the latest WB report. While the industrial sector is benefiting somewhat from the European recovery, phosphate production is picking up and oil production is benefiting from the development of new sites, services continue to suffer from the consequences of the health crisis.
Source : DGT

Bilateral Relations

Bilateral investment treaties

Work in process

Double taxation agreements

Work in process

Free trade agreements

Work in process

Leading sector for Swiss companies

– Rail and urban transport
– Energy
– Water and environment
– Phosphate and cement industry
– Telecoms
– Agriculture and food processing
– Digital
– Logistics
– Financial sector

Indicators

 201520162017
GDP (in billions of USD)43.1641.8740.29
GDP per capita (USD)3 884.43 730.43 553.3
Growth rate1.1%1%2.5%
Unemployment rate15%14%13%
Inflation rate4.9%3.7%3.9%
Public debt (% of GDP)57.2%62.3%65.7%
Budget balance (% of GDP)-8.91%-9.02%-8.56%
Current account balance (% of GDP)-5.5%-5.3%-6.9%

(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main customers

France, Italy, Germany, Libya
Source: IMF 

Main suppliers

France, Italy, Germany, China
Source : IMF

Swiss exports to

Work in process

Exports of …. to Switzerland

Work in process

Swiss direct investment in

Work in process

The business climate

Work in process