2013 CCG FINAL.pdf
the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and other U.S.
organizations to promote awareness of U.S. financing sources. OPIC has
announced a $2 billion fund for Middle East and North Africa, and Tunisia was
recently included in the African Diaspora Marketplace.
Despite difficulties, U.S. firms are able to successfully compete against betterestablished European companies and win significant Tunisian government
contracts, especially in fields demanding cutting-edge U.S. technology. The U.S.
Embassy in Tunis actively promotes these sectors as being the most attractive
for U.S. companies.
U.S. exporters to Tunisia should be aware that Tunisian law prohibits the export
of currency as payment for imports before documents are presented to the bank
confirming that the merchandise has entered the country. This is usually in the
form of Tunisian Customs documents. U.S. exporters have used confirmed,
irrevocable letters of credit and letters of credit authorizing "payment against
documents" in past transactions.
U.S. companies should also be extremely careful to verify with Tunisia’s Central
Bank (Banque Centrale de Tunisie) whether they are permitted to receive
payment in foreign currency for services to customers resident in Tunisia. This
issue has been the source of confusion and occasional difficulty for some U.S.
companies in Tunisia.
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For U.S. companies, the best investment opportunities are in sectors that would
benefit from U.S. technology (hydrocarbons, power generation, renewable
energy, aeronautics, transportation, and telecommunications) or to a lesser
extent, in the more labor-intensive offshore, export-oriented industries such as
the manufacture of textiles and mechanical or electrical equipment. As
democratic practices take root in Tunisia and economic policies are refocused
toward development of southern, central, and western Tunisia, there may be
opportunities in infrastructure and investment incentives tied to certain
Due to its moderate Mediterranean climate, Tunisia has a developed tourism
industry, but niche travel is under-developed in areas away from the coasts.
There are investment opportunities in tourism, including cultural or historical
tours, golf packages, and desert tours. These opportunities may be limited until
the sector rebounds, although the government has created a set of robust
incentives for investment in this sector.
Agricultural opportunities for U.S. producers are available in bulk commodities,
such as wheat, corn, and some intermediate products such as soybean meal and
planting seeds. The U.S. market share, currently hovering around 10% of overall
agricultural imports, has room for growth despite a price competitiveness gap
with the EU caused by substantially higher freight costs and preferential access
granted to the EU.