TRADE-SA-Tunisia export opportunities project- Report back on 1st workshop

South Africa - 20 January 2020

Trade topics: SMEs, Trade and Development, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy

TRADE-SA-Tunisia export opportunities project- Report back on 1st workshop.
With South Africa and Tunisia being located at opposite ends of the African continent and their main export markets being in Europe and other major trading regions, one might think that the two countries have relatively little to offer each another in terms of reciprocal trade opportunities. To date, trade between South Africa and Tunisia has been very limited. One of the reasons for this is that both South Africa’s and Tunisia’s exports have traditionally been resource-based (with a focus on mining) with relatively little complementarity. Other factors include distance and the absence of a formal trade agreement between the countries. However, recent years have seen both South Africa and Tunisia diversify into the production of more value-added goods and services, which means that new opportunities are potentially opening up for greater two-way trade. Their respective governments are also giving increasing attention to the expansion and diversification of the countries’ export sectors in the face of pressing economic challenges at home – from lacklustre economic growth to rising unemployment and inequality. Policymakers have recognised that there is potential for the two countries to address their similar economic challenges through heightened reciprocal trade.