Tunisia’s economy grew 1.9% in 2017 compared with 1% of the previous year. GDP should solidly bump up to 2,8% in 2018 and the growth will pick up to 3.5% in 2019. (African Economic Outlook 2018)
Several positive factors are expected to support growth in 2017 and subsequently in 2018–19. The improved security situation has revived the bad hit of the tourist industry. Tourism saw a 32% increase in 2017 that is going to improve the balance of payments and help stabilize the dinar. Exports rebounded strongly, and investment (foreign and domestic) shows preliminary signs of picking up.
With the Strategic Development Plan 2016–2020, Tunisia anticipates an increase from 19% of GDP in 2016 to 24% in 2020.
Tunisia has a National Strategic Plan named “Tunisia Digital 2020” which includes Smart Tunisia, a program devoted to the development and promotion of offshoring. This program offers multiple incentives for operators investing in this sector.
Tunisia Digital 2020
“Tunisia Digital 2020” is a five-year strategy targeting ICT technologies in order to significantly increase the number of jobs and export earnings within the ICT sector. This strategy aims to make Tunisia an international digital reference and make ICT an important lever for socio-economic development.
Through this strategy, Tunisia would like to create employment, value added by innovation and improve business competitiveness by the development of ICTs.
The main objectives of this project:
• To create TND 11 billion in additional value after 5 years (by 2020);
• To reach TND 6 billion in export after 5 years;
• To create 95,000 jobs in 5 years;
• To provide internet connectivity to 3000 families.
In addition to the ”Digital Tunisia 2020” strategy, which focuses on the entire sector, the “Smart Tunisia” program intends to become an attractive destination for international partners and for companies in the offshoring sector.
The main objective of the program is to create 50,000 information technology jobs in five years (2016-2020), to become a unique contact for foreign investors and important interlocutor of francophone offshoring and act as a hub for Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Investment opportunities in new information technology sector are:
• Software development’s field;
• Software production;
• The generalization and development of broadband Internet access;
• The digitization of government administration services;
• The promotion of services for export as part of a public-private partnership (online purchase, e-health, e-commerce, etc…);
• Offshoring, encouraging foreign companies to hire Tunisians.
Why offshoring in Tunisia?
It is an ideal hub platform to access neighboring markets, such as Algeria or Libya, as well as other African and Middle East markets.
The education system in Tunisia delivers profiles that have advanced linguistic, technical, communication and behavioral skills, which are essential for offshoring professions.
- 325.000 students per year, 65.000 multilingual university graduates, 12.000 graduates in ICT sections in 2017, 20.000 graduates a year in engineering sections, 35% of the population with tertiary education are just a part of Tunisia’s advantages for investing.
- Availability of Scientists and Engineers: Italy 4.7 (31 ranking), Tunisia 4.3 (48 ranking), Poland 4.3 (50 ranking). The Global Competitiveness Index, 2016-2017
- Gross annual salaries: hotline (BPO) 6.000$, graduate engineer 10.000$, senior/ team leader 20.000$, Manager 32.000$.
Tunisia, a new legal framework
The new investment law passed on April 1st 2017, offers the following advantages:
• Total freedom of foreign participation in the capital of offshore companies;
• Reduction in the number of authorizations and revision of specifications;
• Free access to land ownership for the realization of investment;
• Guarantees the investors in accordance with international standards on fair and equitable treatment and industrial and intellectual property;
• Freedom to transfer funds (profits, dividends and assets) abroad;
• Possibility to recruit 30% of foreign executives during the first 3 years upon simple declaration and 10% of executives guaranteed thereafter in all cases.
Tunisia hosts 3200 international companies that generate 300,000 jobs. France, Italy, Germany and Belgium are the first industrial investors in Tunisia and with this project, Tunisia seems to become increasingly an economic hub in North Africa.
Fonte: a cura di Exportiamo, di Alessio Gambino, firstname.lastname@example.org
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