Half of French companies operating in Tunisia have expressed interest in investing over pound 1 million in the coming years, a recent survey conducted by the Regional Economic Service of the French Embassy in Tunis and the Tunisian Committee of French Foreign Trade Advisors showed.
“This reflects a widely shared desire for a lasting presence in Tunisia,” say the authors of this survey, whose aim is to highlight the contribution of French companies to the development of the Tunisian economy.
The survey was conducted between October 1, 2022 and February 15, 2023 among a representative sample of 100 French and Franco-Tunisian companies based in Tunisia. It showed that most of them (68%) were actually small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
More than three-quarters of the companies are subsidiaries of French companies, while the remaining 20% are French-owned businesses based abroad.
It also shows that more than half of French companies are operating in the manufacturing sector and more than two thirds (68%) are export-oriented, with the status of fully exporting companies.
French companies face competition from German and Italian companies
Approximately 80% of the companies surveyed have stated that they have a production unit in Tunisia, mostly located in Greater Tunis. The survey results indicate a growth trend for French companies between 2016 and 2021, with 93% of the companies having reported an increase in turnover or a stability during this period. However, these companies continue to face foreign competition, primarily from German (15% of the companies) and Italian companies (14%).
There are over a thousand French companies operating in Tunisia, employing between 140,000 and 150,000 individuals, according to data from the French embassy in Tunisia.
In 2022, investments by French companies based in the country reached pound 187 million, making France the leading provider of foreign direct investment in Tunisia. France remains by far Tunisia’s largest customer, accounting for almost 22% of Tunisian exports in 2022, according to the same source.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)