Export Impact For Good

Countries / Territories

Tunisia: Improving the international competitiveness of the textile and clothing sector (GTEX)

  • Objective | Sector Context | Beneficiaries | Contact information


    The Tunisia project follows the same approach and logical framework as the GTEX programme, namely improving sector-specific institutional infrastructure and an improved TISI eco-system as well as increasing the competitiveness of 50 selected companies in the product categories. Its main focus will be on the clothing sector.

    The project will engage with the Ministère de l’Industrie et de PMEs, Ministère de la formation professionnelle et de l’emploi as well as Ministère du commerce for a sector-wide approach that is linked to the national T&C strategy and the country’s overall development objectives.

    Sector Context

    In Tunisia, T&C is the largest industrial sector and is almost entirely export-oriented with about 1,592 companies that contribute to 3% to the country’s GDP. In 2016, the sector tallied $2.4bn worth of exports, mostly to the EU, which accounts for 80% of all textile exports, with France (36%), Italy (21%) and Germany (12%) as the leading markets. The textile sector is one of the largest employers in Tunisia with over 158,000 workers. Tunisian-owned enterprises and enterprises with mixed (Tunisian-foreign) ownership amount to about 60% of all enterprises, employing 61% of the sector’s employees. About 40% of all enterprises are entirely foreign-owned where decisions are taken outside the country.


    At the enterprise level, the project will work with 50 companies in the 3 product categories of denim, lingerie/swimwear and protective-wear, owned by Tunisians including women and youth led enterprises, selected from Grand Tunis, Sahel and interior areas. Enterprises have already been selected following a selection process agreed upon with all beneficiary institutions that was also approved by the project steering committee.

    Moreover, in each country a special focus will be given to companies that operate in poverty-affected areas as described above. In Tunisia the project will promote a mentoring approach under which “champions” operating in Tunis and the Sahel region work with small companies in poverty-affected regions such as Gafsa, Kasserine, and Sidi Bouzid.

    At the institutional level the project will work with trade and investment support institutions (TISIs) to improve their management and operations as well as an enhanced service offering to their clients. Institutional assessments were already undertaken for CEPEX (Centre de Promotion des Exportations), CETTEX (Centre Technique du Textile), FTTH (Fédération Tunisienne du Textile et de l’Habillement), MFCPOLE (Pôle de Compétitivité Monastir El Fejja), and CONECT (Confédération des Entreprises Citoyenne de Tunisie). These will be the basis for developing institutional improvement roadmaps that the project will help implementing.

    Contact information

    Nacer Bouyahia - National Programme Consultant
    Tunis, Tunisia
    Tel: (+216) 20 927 075
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gtextunisie/  

    Matthias Knappe – GTEX Programme Manager
    International Trade Centre, Geneva
    54-56 rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
    Tel: (+41) 22 730 0321

  • Partners


    Logo Sida

    ITMA19 logo details flush left