In 2015, Tunisia was responsible for the second highest growth –after Iran- in defence expenditure, in the MENA region. More specifically, this change was reflected in the increased 2.2% of the GDP, allocated as the defence budget, equal to about $1.1 billion (See chart below). This amount, was more than double compared to that of ten years ago (2005), reflecting the ‘fragile’ diplomatic environment created by its neighbouring countries.


After the revolution in 2011, Tunisia managed to boost its aerospace sector activities, significantly increase its military production capabilities, defence contracts and military cooperation with foreign countries (such as the UAE, Turkey and Qatar), reflecting the results of a more politically stable and under ‘reconstruction’ country.

Today (as of 2014), some 70 Aerospace companies operate within the Tunisian territory, including Latelec, Aero Stanrew, Hutchinson, Lacroix Electronics, Stelia, Zodiac Aerospace, Sabena Technics, Aerolia, Thales, Telnet, Sogeclair Aerospace, Corse Composites Aeronautique and Figeac Aero. In the 4 industrial clusters of the region, some 13,000 people are already employed, while another 1,000 jobs are created on average every year, in the related sector.

According to related data, Tunisia recorded in 2014, some 250 million TND (1 TND = 0.640 USD = 0.498 EUR, on average for 2012) of aerospace exports, in terms of products and related services, with 2/3 of those, destined to the EU market and more specifically with France being the sector’s main contractor.

Tunisia has largely developed its aerospace expertise in recent years through related collaborations or establishment of major Aerospace/Defence primes’ subsidiary companies within the country, with reported capabilities in engineering and design, electronics, wiring, casting, machining and sheet metal cutting, to assembly of aero-structures, plastics, composites, surface treatment and painting, aviation systems manufacture and also aircraft maintenance (See Infographic below).

It ought to be stressed that the Mechanical & Electrical sector, with its more than 1,000 active companies –responsible for the 35% of the total Tunisian exports- has offered significant support to the above described development of the Tunisian Aerospace industry in recent years.

Source: http://www.gitas.org/ & http://www.investintunisia.tn

Further, the domestic aerospace industry carries out numerous additional activities of high-added value, ranging from software & hardware engineering, to the production of high precision components.

Tunisia has developed about 15 sectorial training centres in compliance with international standards. The highly qualified workforce –educated in “Tunisian-French” engineering schools, the development of ‘CEMIA’ (Centre of Excellence for Aerospace Industry Professions), and finally the existence of a specialised training centre –in the areas of mechanics, electronics and IT- in the El Mghira Industrial Park, have all contributed to the establishment of the Tunisian Aerospace as one of the most rapidly developing industries worldwide.
The aerospace industrial park in El Mghira, the cluster of Sousse –consisting of a Technology park, an offshore area and an industrial zone-, the economic activities realised in the parks of Bizerte and Zarzis, and finally the some 100 industrial zones across the Tunisian territory, have turned the country into an attractive destination for investments in the aerospace sector.

Moreover, Tunisia has established an incentive framework for investments in the sector, which offers the freedom to hold 100% of a local company and repatriate profits and proceeds from the sale of the associated capital invested in foreign currencies. Facilitated by the several, already existing, multilateral trade agreements, a series of exemptions in taxes and duties, as well as investment grants, are provided to companies active in the sector.

The intention of Tunisian authorities, in collaboration with global Prime contractors and the Tunisian Aerospace Industries Association (GITAS), is to establish a Tunisian aerospace industry “supply chain”, with Tunisian companies acting as the main subcontractors. Hence, such parties have already undertaken many related initiatives in order to acquire the required ‘know-how’ for this purpose.

Through these incentives, the sector aims to attract talents and investors, in order to increase its share in the following niche markets/focus areas:

  1. Equipment manufacturing
  2. Wiring
  3. Precision machining & mechanics
  4. Sheet metal
  5. Assembly and aero-structures
  6. Plastics manufacturing
  7. Surface treatment & Painting
  8. Engineering & Design