Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Fact Sheet - Tunisia

Flag of Tunisia

Geographic and Cultural Data

  • Official name: Tunisian Republic
  • Language: Arabic (official), French (widespread), English and Italian
  • Religion: Islam
  • Geography: Maghreb country, situated in the far northeast corner of Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean to the north and east with 1,300 km of coastline, Algeria to the west (1,050 km) and Libya to the south (480 km).
  • Capital: Tunis (population 2.5 million, including the suburbs)
  • Other major cities: Sfax, Arianna, Sousse, Gabès and Bizerte
  • Population: 10,673,800 (November 2011)
  • Surface area: 163,610 km² (of which 25,000 km² is desert)

Politics

  • Constitution: currently under revision
  • Administrative divisions: 24 governorates subdivided into 254 delegations and local development councils, 2,053 imadas and 257 municipalities

Development Indicators

  • Total population: 10,673,800 (National Institute of Statistics - 2012)
  • Population growth rate: 0.97% (2011)
  • Urban population: 62.5%
  • Access to health services: 87%.
  • Labour force: 3.1 million
    • agriculture: 55%
    • industry: 23%
    • services: 22%
  • Unemployment rate: 21.2% (2012)

Economy

Main Public Stakeholders

  • Ministry of Industry
  • Ministry of Development
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Ministry of Trade and Tourism
  • Ministry of Agriculture

Basic Economic Indicators

  • Currency: Tunisian Dinar (TND)
  • Exchange rate: 1.00 TND = C$0.649061 (February 2013) 
  • GDP, in $CAD millions: 47,561.79 (2012)
  • GDP growth: 2.79% (2012)

Primary Local Production

  • Agricultural products: olives, olive oil, wine, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruits, sugar beets, dates, almonds, beef and dairy products
  • Main industrial products: oil and gas, phosphates, chemicals, iron, tourism, textiles, footwear and other mining products

Trade Relations

Canadian exports in 2012 totalled $136,833 million. Durum wheat was Canada’s leading export, accounting for 72% of total exports. In fact, Canada is Tunisia’s first durum wheat supplier and sales of this item are increasing and extending into the private sector as well. Durum wheat exports are followed by clothing, vehicle engines and machinery.

The main imports are olive oil and olive oil products, copper, shoes and clothing. The European Union is the country's leading supplier and client.

Canada-Tunisia Merchandise Trade in Millions of Canadian Dollars
 20052006200720082009201020112012
Exports39.264.7110.687.6113.794.411101.898136.833
Imports32.667.549.842.845.550.7753.03351.115

Trade Balance, 2012: 85.768 (C$ millions)

Source: Statistics Canada

Bilateral Relations

  • Establishment of diplomatic relations: 1957
  • Canadian representation in Tunis:
    • M. Sébastion Beaulieu, Ambassador
    • Etienne Sum Wah, Senior Trade Commissioner
  • Tunisian representation in Ottawa:
    • M.Riadh Essidi, Ambassador

February 2013