The Textile sector in Tunisia

The Textile and Clothing Industries sector is considered strategic for the National Economy. It is the main manufacturing sector in terms of exports, employment and added value. It represents one of the leading sectors of economic growth.

The textile and Clothing Industries sector account 1,780 companies employing 10 or more persons, which represent 31.7% of the entire Tunisian industry. Among them 1488 are producing for export.

Distribution of enterprises employing 10 or more persons, by activity and regime
Activities     TE* OTE* Total


8 19 27
Weaving 11 21 32
Finishing 23 13 36
Knitting 149  36 185
Garment Manufacturing 1204 138 1342
Other textile industries 219 117 336
* TE: Totally exporting
OTE: Other than totally exporting


Enterprises, employing 10 or more persons, involved 172,605 persons, including 156,519 persons who belong to totally exporting enterprises and 16,086 persons to partially exporting enterprises.

The number of Foreign Invested Enterprises is 774 whose 516 are 100% foreign owned. 747 are totally exporting enterprises.

Note: Some enterprises are engaged in several activities at the same time. 
Source: Agency for Industry Promotion and Innovation - November 2014


Sector exports increased from 4934 MTND in 2012 to 5216 MTND in 2013, an average annual increase of 5.72%.
EU countries are the main customers of Tunisia for textiles with 36% for France, 32% in Italy, 10% in Germany; followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Spain.
Regarding the sector imports, they have evolved from 3589 MTND in 2012 to 3755 MTND in 2013, an average annual increase of 4.63%. The main suppliers are Italy, which comes first, then France and Turkey

This sector recorded a success in terms of exports. In fact, the two main export markets are France and Italy due to their geographical proximity followed by Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.
It is in this context that in recent years the industry has made significant investments in research and development of new manufacturing processes that have proven effective tools, which subsequently allows companies to make constant innovations in design and production process.

Indeed, the highlights of this sector are multiple :

  • The availability of an experienced workforce with a quick learning ability;
  • The orientation of industrial companies towards high value-added products;
  • Adaptation of companies to market requirements;
  • The correct positioning of Tunisia in sustainable development and social ethics.