Fabian Demicoli

Malta as Tunisia’s EU base for agriculture exports

GRTU has this week welcomed high
officials promoting investment in the agriculture sector and the Ambassador of
Tunisia to Malta Souad Gueblaoui. Agriculture is one of the main industries in
Tunisia, providing an important contribution to labour occupancy and GDP and is
one of Tunisia's main export sectors.

Tunisia not only has
immense land resources with 5 million hectares of agricultural land and 450
thousand hectares of irrigated land but they also encourage agriculture and
Government helps farmers and provides incentives directly. They impose no taxes on the
agricultural sector, including the purchasing of machinery. Annually they
realize 6 thousand agricultural projects valued at €270M a year. They also
offer investors the opportunity to invest in agriculture in partnership with a
Tunisian partner. Foreign partners are encouraged because they can hold 66% of

Their main partners are EU
countries, mainly Italian, French, Spanish and Dutch. Tunisian products are
sold all over Europe as European products but they are actually made from
Tunisian produce. Tunisian products are very good quality and due to their
climate they are ready for harvest earlier than EU products. They are also very
cheap because an agriculture worker is paid €12 for a days work. The products
are therefore very competitive even with logistics.

Many Tunisian products imported
from other EU countries if imported directly from Tunisia would cost much less.
Tunisia also has a trade agreement with the EU for exports.

Investment in agriculture and
pasta is being highly encouraged and Malta should become Tunisia's stepping
stone for Tunisian exports into Europe. At the end of June an agriculture fair
will be organized in Marsascala where Tunisian products will be available.

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