The declaration of intent projects a regular exchange of information between the two organizations and mutual assistance in organizing business forums, trade events and business meetings in both countries. “We want to make it easier for export-focused Swiss SMEs to obtain information about the Tunisian market in future,” explains Suhail el Obeid, senior consultant at S-GE and host of the Impulse Event. The agreement will also make it easier to establish contacts with Tunisian partners.
Emerging ICT sector
For Swiss SMEs, the declaration of intent comes at an interesting time. Tunisia is currently implementing fundamental structural reforms that aim to create an economy with higher technological added value. One of the Mediterranean country’s key focus areas is the development of its ICT industry. This has grown by an average of 9.8% each year between 2010 and 2014. The ICT sector accounts for more than 7% of gross domestic product, and the Tunisian government plans to create 100,000 new jobs in this area by 2020. Many Tunisian ICT companies want to internationalize, but rely on international partners to develop third-party markets. This can open up interesting cooperation opportunities for Swiss SMEs.
Specialists, price advantages, geography
According to estimates, around 92 Swiss companies are currently already active in Tunisia. The country has a number of locational advantages, notably the high number of skilled workers, the high price competitiveness and the geographical proximity to Europe. It also has an additional advantage in the form of a high degree of industrialization compared to other regions. This makes the country an attractive production location for export-focused industrial companies.
Economically, Switzerland and Tunisia are networked via a Tunisian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce, a Free Trade Agreement via the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and an investment protection agreement.
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