Investment conference kicks off in Tunisia

29 November 2016

Tunisia is seeking investment for $30bn of projects

Tunisia is presenting 146 projects worth around €30bn to international investors at its investment conference Tunisia 2020, which is being held in Tunis on 29 and 30 November.

The projects, across all sectors, include 68 government funded projects, 33 public private partnership (PPP) projects, and 45 private sector projects.

The most important PPP project is expected to be the €600m Enfidha deepwater port scheme.

Other PPP projects include:

  • Jinene university and competitive cluster
  • Microsatellite manufacturing cluster
  • Logistics zones in Rades, Ben Guerdane, Zarzis, Zaghouan and Ghannouch
  • A 450MW combined cycle power plant in Sfax
  • Solid waste management in Tunis governorate
  • Nine agricultural projects
  • Wastewater networks in Tunis, Ariana, Gabes, Médenine, Sfax and Tataouine
  • A 70,400 cubic metres a day (cm/d) wastewater treatment plant in Tunis
  • A 21,500 cm/d wastewater plant in Gabes
  • A 50,000 cm/d desalination plant in Gabes
  • Taparura real estate project in Sfax
  • The expansion of Rades port container terminal

More generally, investment in smart grids, housing, mining and information technology is being sought. Tunisia is also planning five 50MW solar projects and an 80MW wind project.

A new PPP law was recently passed, as well as a simplified investment law. Executive regulations for the investment law are due in mid-December.

Tunisia hopes that the conference will bring €60bn of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country, and revive the economy which has struggled since the 2011 revolution. 

FDI reached just $1bn in 2015, according to the Tunisian Foreign Investment Promotion Agency.

The deals announced so far include:

  • Five loans worth €389m from the European Investment Bank for small & medium enterprise (SME) finance and innovation. The largest is an €100m loan for Tunisia Telecom’s 4G network development.
  • €300m a year of support from Germany for wind projects, desalination plants, and the food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and automobile industries.
  • €1.2bn in loans and grants from the French Development Agency to support the 2020 five-year plan, as well as wastewater, climate change adaption, phosphates, renewables and micro-finance.
  • Germany’s KfW will finance a desalination plant in Zarat.
  • The Kuwait Development Fund will finance a desalination plant in Kerkennah.
  • Construction has started on the first phase of Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH)’s Tunis Bay project. It will cost TD6.5m ($2.8bn) and cover 523 hectares north of Tunis and include a financial centre. The first phase will cost $153m.
  • Qatar promises $1.25bn of investment.
  • Kuwait promises $500m of loans over five years.

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