The Textiles and clothing industries (TCI) sector is comprised of some 2,094 industrial enterprises employing 10 or more persons, of which 1,656 produce exclusively for the export market.

Breakdown of plants by sub-sector

Activities Totally Exporting Other than
totally exporting
Spinning, thread making 12       32       44      
Fabric weaving 10       44       54      
Finishing 15       16       31      
Hosiery, knitting 175       61       236      
Manufacture of fabric and knitted wear 1381       216       1597      
Other textile industries 177       138       315      

Note: Numbers are approximate, since a company could figure in more than one category 

1. Partnership

The Sector counts 971 enterprises with foreign participation, of which 635 are wholly (100%) foreign owned.
The leading foreign investors in the textile/clothing sector are: Italy, Belgium, Holland, France, Algeria and USA.

2. Employment and human resources

  • Textile/clothing industries provide the largest number of jobs in the manufacturing sector, employing 205,911 people, 46% of all manufacturing jobs.
  • Accessible quality education for all citizens has endowed Tunisia with a young human resource pool (supervisors, technicians, designers, engineers).
  • The country has over thirty centres for specialised education covering the textiles industries: 8 sectorial centres for training supervisors and technicians; a higher institute of textiles for senior technicians; a textile engineer university; a higher institute for fashion professionals; a textile design department within the fine arts university.

3.   Competitive production costs

the following graph shows the manufacturers' total costs per hour in USD compared to other countries.

4. Export

The clothing and textile exports have reached MTND 4 420 in 2006 against MTND 4 020 in 2001. The clothing sector alone represents 91 % of those exports: 72% for woven garments and 19% for knitted goods. Clothing and textile exports represent 36% of the total Tunisian exports.

Main exported products in 2006 (MTND)

Product   Share in %
Jeans   16,1%
Workwear   9,6%
Women Underwear   10,8%
Trousers (other than jeans)   9,5%
Polos and Tee-shirts   8,5%
Jumpers and Pullovers   5,8%
Shirts and blouses   4,1%
Outfits, Dresses and Women's suits   3,9%
Swimwear   2,3%
Outfits and men's suits 53.0 1,2%

5. Positioning

Tunisia is emerging as one of the major production sites of clothing products in the Euro-Mediterranean zone. It’s the sixth largest supplier of textile to Europe; more than 95% of Tunisian exports go to Europe. In 2006, France, Italy and Germany took 80% of all Tunisian exports.

6. Transport

Thanks to a wide range of services transport between Tunisia and Scandinavia is regular and fast.

There are several options depending on the nature, the volume of the merchandise and the time needed for delivery.

  • Truck delivery services : Most commonly used for exports between Tunisia and Scandinavia, Several options connected with this service are available: Door to Door, DDU. Delivery time varies between 7 and 10 days, regular trips between Tunisia and Europe several times a week (Through France or Germany).

  • See freight : This option is only appropriate for very big volumes.

  • Air freight : Suitable for small volumes (less than 100 kg) and urgent deliveries this is the faster delivery type (normally 48h). The same services are available, Door to door, DDU

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