France has traditionally been one of the foremost foreign investors in Tunisia, outstripping all others in terms of the number of firms operating in Tunisia (around 1,300) and the number of direct jobs provided (some 110,000). French investment amounted to €136 million in 2009 and €101 million in 2010, concentrated mainly in the export-oriented industrial sector. This made France the leading investor in Tunisia (excluding energy), accounting for 25% of 2010 investment, ahead of Spain (18%) and Italy (11%).
France is also Tunisia’s leading trading partner, as both its biggest supplier (with a market share of 18.9%) and its biggest customer (28.7% of Tunisian exports), despite a slight downward trend over the medium term. Tunisia accounts for 0.9% of French exports and 0.8% of imports, making it our 23rd biggest client and 24th biggest supplier. The balance of trade, traditionally weighted very much in France’s favour, has gradually shifted against France since 2001, despite a one-off upturn in 2009. The value of French exports to Tunisia rose from €3.4 billion in 2010 to €3.6 billion in 2011. Over the same period, French imports from Tunisia rose by a slightly higher margin, from €4 billion in 2010 to €4.5 million in 2011.
Updated on 18.12.12.