Two years on from the terrible attack in which 38 people died including 30 British tourists, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has taken the decision to remove Tunisia from its no-go list. This is great news for the Tunisian economy - so reliant on tourism - which plummeted in the aftermath of the attack. Historically, tourism has accounted for around 8% of gross domestic product (GDP) and is a key source of employment, not to mention foreign currency. According to Tunisian officials, the number of tourists expected to travel to the country is expected to rise by around 30 per cent this year compared with last year, driven by better security and higher booking rates from new markets, such as Russia. The tour operator Thomas Cook will resume selling Tunisian holiday packages to Britons from February 2018 whilst they had not stopped arranging tours for French, German and Belgian citizens.
What is the allure of Tunisia?
Apart from the Mediterranean climate, Tunisia is home to the magnificent Atlas Mountains, the ruins of the fabled city of Carthage, once home to the mighty Phoenician empire, and the Bardo museum, which houses one of the world`s most renowned mosaic collections. It also boasts an eclectic range of cuisine, from French to Turkish and Spanish, courtesy of the many empires that have sought to rule Tunisia over the centuries.
Open for business
However, the country isn`t just a collection of beaches, restaurants and ruins. Tunisia hasn`t been twiddling its business thumbs in the last two years; the country will soon be home to the largest solar power plant in the world, capable of powering more than 5 million European homes or over 7 million electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the first session of the Tunisian African Empowerment Forum organised by the Tunisia Africa Business Council (TABC) takes place later this month in Tunis. This is a new initiative aimed at promoting Tunisia as a destination for students from elsewhere in Africa. So far, ministers from countries including Burkina Faso, Niger, and Gabon have all confirmed their participation, as well as delegations from Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal.
Investing in Tunisia
Are there many opportunities? Certainly. The Tunisian economy is highly competitive; agriculture predominates but the country also has a thriving aerospace industry boosted by its strong manufacturing and engineering sectors. Demand for innovative solutions is strong, and intrepid investors from the region and beyond have many good reasons to consider Tunisia a good place to do business. But as always, opportunities come with challenges. Like in many MENA countries of late, Tunisia`s prime minister, Youssef Chahed vowed in July 2017 to push ahead with a war against corruption adding that this would exclude no-one whatever their political affiliation. But the proof remains to be seen and it would be wise to always conduct due diligence
on any potential partners. At Cedar Rose
we offer services that can help protect you and your business when you`re operating in Tunisia and elsewhere. For more information about what our market-leading business intelligence services can do for you come to www.cedar-rose.com
.\ Written by Christina Massaad, Managing Director
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*****The above article and the information contained within is intended for public discussion and informative purposes only. It is not intended as and does not constitute legal advice*****