The economy of Tunisia is in the process of being liberalized after decades of heavy state direction and participation in the country’s economy. Prudent economic and fiscal planning have resulted in moderate but sustained growth for over a decade. Tunisia’s economic growth historically has depended on oil, phosphates, agri-food products, car parts manufacturing, and tourism.

The following tables and chart will tell the change details in last 5-10 years:

Tunisia Distribution of workforce from the last 5 years


Tunisia Distribution of GDP across economic sectors:


Here attached the last 10 years chart of Tunisia GDP: (amount in billion USD):


3 Sectors of the Economy – Agriculture, Industry and Services:

  • Agriculture:

Agriculture is an important part in the Tunisia’s economy. It employs almost 13.43% of the total workforce and contributed almost 10.4% in GDP.

Tunisia is a net importer of agricultural products.  In 2019, leading agricultural imports were wheat ($431 million), sugar ($204 million), soybeans ($162 million), vegetable oils ($160 million), corn ($145 million), and barley ($134 million).  The leading agriculture-related exports were olive oil ($708 million), dates ($248 million), fish products ($154 million), and citrus ($7 million). 

Major products in this Sector:

Olive Oil: Tunisia is the largest exporter of organic olive oil in the world. Tunisia’s production of olive oil has doubled in 2020, to about 350,000 metric tons, turning the country into the world’s second-largest producer after Spain. In 2020 the annual value reached nearly 2.3 billion Tunisian dinars (837 million U.S. dollars). One-third of the country is covered with olive groves, and olive oil is an essential ingredient of its gastronomy. Tunisia is the world’s third-largest exporter of olive oil. For decades, Tunisian olive oil has been shipped in bulk to other olive oil-producing countries like Italy and Spain where it was mixed with local oils and marketed under Italian or Spanish brand names.

Agriculture Subsidy in Tunisia:

TUNISIA 2020, a five-year plan launched in 2016, aims to achieve an annual growth rate of over 4 percent by 2020. It defines a new vision of social and economic development based on highly qualified human resources and first-class infrastructure. This plan aims to have a significant impact on the agriculture sector and rural development: a. Improvement of Tunisian farmers income and modernization of farms (20 000 in 5 years); b. Contribution of the agricultural GPD (+11 percent); c. Strengthening agricultural production; d. Creating jobs in rural areas; and e. Improving national food security.

  • Industries:

Industry is an important part in the Tunisia’s economy. It accounts for 22.74% of GDP and employed almost 32.55% of the workforce.

Major Industries in this Sector:

Textile: Tunisia is among the top 15 garment suppliers in the world and has the advantage of being close to the European market. It is the fifth-largest supplier to the European Union, as well as the leading trouser supplier to the EU. Other important products are workwear and lingerie. In 2020, the import and export value of the textiles, clothing, and leather sector in Tunisia corresponded to approximately 6.17 billion and 8.06 billion Tunisian dinars (around 2.28 billion and 2.98 billion U.S. dollars), respectively. Overall, trades within this industry decreased in 2020 compared to the previous two years. Since 2018, the value of exports exceeded that of imports each year.

Footwear: The volume of exports of the leather and footwear industries (LFI) rose by 9.1%, to 1,516.6 million dinars in 2019, against 1,390.7 million dinars in the same period last year. The leather clothing field has the lion’s share as its exports reached 27.1 million dinars in 2019, up 96.4% compared with the same period last year. On the other hand, imports of leather goods recorded a 3% drop in 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, reaching 78.3 MD, against 80.7 MD in 2018.

  • Services:

Service sector is an important part in the Tunisia’s economy. It contributes almost 59.23% in the GDP and employed almost 54.42% of the total Tunisia’s workforce.

Major Industries in this sector:

Finance: Banking in Tunisia is a service industry comprising 23 domestic banks of which, are three state owned banks. Despite the challenges to Tunisia’s economy, the banking sector has experienced positive growth in recent years. Several risks, however, still threaten the overall health of the sector, including a reduction in available liquidity, low levels of capitalization and credit risk. In an effort to address these issues, the Central Bank of Tunisia has been implementing significant structural reforms, however, barriers to consolidation may limit activity in the short term.

Tourism: Tourism accounts for about 8% of Tunisia’s GDP and is one of the most important sectors of the economy because it provides the second-largest percentage, after the agricultural sector, of employment; 400,000 people work in tourism in Tunisia. Tourism in Tunisia is an industry that generates around 9.4 million arrivals per year, which makes it one of the most visited countries in Africa. Among Tunisia’s tourist attractions are its cosmopolitan capital city of Tunis, the ancient ruins of Carthage, the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Djerba, and coastal resorts outside Monastir.

Top Companies in Tunisia:

RankingCompany NameSector
1Amen BankBanking
2Arab Tunisian BankBanking
3Tunisie TelecomTelecommunication
4MonoprixConsumer Services


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