Boosting the Tunisian economy through investment

Project description

Title: Enabling Investment in Tunisia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministère du Développement, de l'Investissement et de la Coopération Internationale, 
Tunisia Investment Authority (TIA)
Overall term: 2018 to 2020

Context

Tunisia relies on investment to increase economic growth and reduce its high unemployment rate, which currently exceeds 15 per cent. However, investments do not match the country's potential. Key obstacles are the slow and contradictory approval procedures, legal uncertainties for investors and the lack of a central contact person.

In order to meet these challenges, the Tunisia Investment Authority (TIA) was established as a central point of contact for investors in the investment law of 2016. TIA is currently being set up and is designed to ensure support for investment projects. The necessary skills and processes are not yet available to the required extent and need to be developed.

Objective

TIA effectively ensures the promotion and support of investments.

Approach

The project works in three fields of action and coordinates measures to improve the investment climate in addition to the skills available at TIA and its profile.

In specific terms, the project advises TIA on exchange formats on barriers to investment and on adapting regulations, for example on granting investment incentives.

Thanks to training in investment support, employees of TIA and other relevant agencies receive the necessary skills to effectively prepare and evaluate investment projects.

The goal is for Tunisia to be perceived as a site of investment. To achieve this, the project is supporting in preparing analyses and decision-making aids, and also in participating in international investor conferences, trade fairs and entrepreneurial meetings, for instance in Germany.

The cooperation agreements with foreign investment agencies and business associations facilitate the exchange of information on investment promotion and support. The project also works together with external consulting firms such as Deloitte on special topics such as preparing sector studies, developing instruments for identifying and approaching investors, and location marketing.

Results

The various measures have contributed to TIA being able to accompany 15 investment applications so far, eight of which were for additional investments and seven for new investments. The total volume was equivalent to EUR 191 million and includes plans to create 3,774 new jobs.

To achieve this, the project has helped to identify four economic sectors for promoting investment and to draw up joint argumentation tools. The relevant sectors are automotive, aviation, information and telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. In addition, joint guidelines were drawn up for responsibilities and support in investment projects.

The project has supported TIA in setting up a central investor platform. The first six digital services for investors went online in June 2019.

Various consulting and training measures have improved the skills of TIA employees in the areas of identifying potential investors, approaching investors and evaluating investment projects.

The project has developed a range of communication and marketing materials, such as promotional videos, argumentation tools and websites. These have been used in trade fair presentations and company trips.

Several cooperation agreements for sharing lessons learned and joint measures with foreign investment agencies and business associations have been concluded. These include cooperation agreements with the Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association (EMA) and the Afrika-Verein association in Germany.

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