BY YESMAN ANTOH-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Accra, Ghana- DESPITE POLITICAL tension and the terrible tragedy that unfolded on the beach in Sousse in June 2015, with the loss of 39 lives due to a terrorist attack, Tunisia’s economy has steadily grown since 2011. The following are some of the key reasons one must consider investing in Tunisia;
Ease of doing business
The World Bank ranks Tunisia at 74 out of 189 economies around the world in terms of ease of doing business. A company can be established in as little as 10 days with 11 procedures required. Minimum paid up capital required is low at $US500. A resident director is required for certain company set-ups but international incorporation services companies such as Healy Consultants Group PLC can provide nominee services.
The workforce is plentiful and young. Literacy is estimated to be around 80% and as high as 100% in the age range 18-25. Employment is reported to be as high as 40% amongst the younger generation so there is a large workforce available with a low minimum wage requirement of only about 147.2 euros per month.
The security situation is not ideal and the terrorist group ISIS have caused much havoc in recent years. The government are working to stabilize the situation though and I just read recently how they have dispatched hundreds of police to the beaches and resorts to patrol and secure the tourist areas. There is talks of the U.K. lifting their travel advise not to travel in phases after the holy month of Ramadan. While the security issues have devastated the tourist industry (hotel occupancy down to as low as 5% according to some source), the economy seems to be weathering the storm.
In 2015 the government reduced tax from 30% to 25% for corporations and some startups are even eligible for 5-year tax holiday making it an attractive place for company incorporation in North Africa. Additionally, businesses exporting their products and services are only subject to 10% tax which makes it an ideal place for a call service center and other similar businesses.
The language of Tunisia is Tunisian Arabic making communication with their Middle Eastern neighbors smoother. About 30% can speak French and increasingly university graduates are becoming fluent in English.
Imports & Exports Industry
The OEC report (2014) reports that Tunisia is the 75th largest export economy in the world with exports of $16.1B and imports of $22.7B. Top exports are insulated wire, crude petroleum, non-knit men’s suits, non-knit women’s suits and low voltage protection equipment. Top imports include refined petroleum, petroleum gas, cars, low voltage protection equipment and wheat.
World trade Organization (WTO) – Tunisia has been a member of WTO since 1995 and General Agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) since 1990. It also has double tax avoidance treaties with over 45 countries. Source; Healy Consultants Group PLC
YESMAN ANTOH, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, BUSINESS & POLITICS, GLOBAL CORRESPONDENT