OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Tunisia 2012

image of OECD Investment Policy Reviews: Tunisia 2012

The Investment Policy Review examines Tunisia’s investment regime and how it has influenced investor decisions, as well as its shortcomings under the former political regime. It reflects on developments after the 2011 revolution which opened the way for enhanced reforms on investment, including the preparation of a new Investment Code. The new authorities also show commitments to enhance responsible business conduct and to improve the investment framework in support of a green economy. In recognition of recent efforts to enhance its investment climate, Tunisia became the 44th country to adhere to the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises. As an adherent to the Declaration, Tunisia commits to providing national treatment to foreign investors – within the limits of the legal restrictions mentioned in the Review – and to promoting responsible business conduct, in line with the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, including through the establishment of a National Contact Point. In turn, the country benefits from similar assurances from other adherents to treat Tunisian investors fairly.

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Tunisia's investment regime and the National Treatment Instrument

The 1993 Investment Incentives Code applies to both national and foreign investors. It has institutionalised an asymmetrical regime between enterprises wholly engaged in exports (offshore) and those geared towards the domestic market (onshore), under which the former benefit from tax exemptions and numerous incentives. The Code guarantees freedom of investment and nondiscriminatory treatment, although there are horizontal and sectoral exceptions to national treatment. Tunisia rates relatively high on the OECD FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index because of the obligation for foreign investors to obtain prior authorisation of their acquisition of securities or shares in established companies or in order to operate in service sectors when their holding exceeds 50% of capital. The new authorities have announced a revision of the Investment Incentives Code and a review of the approval and incentives system.

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