6.000 new engineers each year, 40.000 students in technical courses of study – 61 per cent female – and a powerful 4G network nationwide: Tunisia offers a powerful IT market, equipped with knowledgeable experts. These and other exciting developments were the topic of a virtual conference, held on April, 22, 2021 and organised by BMZ’s Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition", which also operates under the brand Invest for Jobs, to prepare European businesses for Tunisia’s diverse potentials and opportunities.
The welcome speeches were delivered by Hon. Dr Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Hon. Mohamed Fadhel Kraiem, Minister at the Tunisian Ministry of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy. “Tunisia is a country full of potential and a pioneer on vital issues shaping our future,” Dr Barthle concluded his speech, setting the tone for the event.
Dr Andreas Reinicke, Senior Advisor for Digital Cooperation with North Africa and former German Ambassador to Tunisia, shared his perspective on the untapped potential of Tunisia’s IT market for Europe’s digital economy, stating Tunisia’s strength in digitalisation as well as education. His valuable insights on the advantages of Tunisia’s digital market were supported by reports from businesses who have already started to collaborate with partners in Tunisia; BMW and Fraunhofer Institute, to name just a few, who presented the projects they realised together with Tunisian IT companies.
Deep Dive and Networking
Following the business cases and a presentation of the various institutional support programmes – by BMZ, KfW, GIZ, and AHK –, guests were given the opportunity to go into deep dive sessions with the business representatives who introduced their approach to the Tunisian market. “It’s very easy to make your first contact,” Andreas Bootz from BMW Group recalled about his entry into the market; “I was positively surprised by the high level of qualification and education”, added Bumin Hatiboglu, from Fraunhofer IPA. The projects were a huge success, despite being planned and carried out completely remote and the companies plan to work together with new Tunisian counterparts in the future.
In fruitful discussions, guests could ask their most pressing questions, and discuss outsourcing, product development in new markets, and nearshoring, as well as other aspects and strategies of cooperation. The fact that, as Hon. Mohamed Fadhel Kraiem’s stated in his opening address, “digital transformation and development is one of the priorities for [the Tunisian] government”, became even clearer after that productive session.
More than 200 Participants and New Ideas
More than 200 participants came together to learn more about the potential of Tunisia’s IT market, to share ideas for collaboration, and to establish new contacts for future business endeavours. The large number of attendees was a great demonstration of the interest in new business opportunities and gives way to more collaboration between Tunisia’s IT market and Germany’s digital economy.
The conference will catalyse deeper German-Tunisian business relations; characterised by better understanding of the growing capabilities of Africa’s digital economy and how those skills can be harnessed in a mutually beneficial way. The cases presented by leading companies demonstrate the high degree of expertise and flexibility inherent in the Tunisian digital sector.
Outsourcing Business Case: BMW Group and Wevioo (Tech216)
Tech216 is a project supporting collaboration between German and European as well as Tunisian IT service providers. Tech216 facilitates access to Tunisia’s tech talent and supports successful outsourcing project specification and implementation.
BMW/Wevioo pilot project presentation
Tech216 Website: https://tech216.de/Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Product Development Business Case: Industry 4.0 in Sousse and Sfax
Fraunhofer IPA partnered with the Competence Centre in Sousse to promote the digital transformation of the Tunisian industry.
Fraunhofer IPA/Novation City presentation
Towards an Industry 4.0 in Tunisia
Nearshoring Business Case: Primatec at the Technopark Sfax
Technoparks such as the one in Sfax offer a wide range of services and support for international companies wanting to open an office in Tunisia to make use of the Tunisian digital talent.
Technopole Sfax/Primatec presentation
GIZ‘ Digital Transformation Programme Digital4JobsThe programme focuses in this context primarily on supporting cooperation with European companies. Implementing partner is the Tunisian government. Tech entrepreneurs as well as (foreign) investors and interested companies are invited to use the programme as a physical and virtual point of contact and benefit from the services of its Business Facility Desk. In addition to supporting start-ups and industry 4.0 solutions, the focus is to promote the digitalisation of multiple sectors, particularly digital finance, e-commerce and health.
Factsheet Digital Transformation
KfW Development Bank
KfW Tunisia offers a wide range of services to international investors wanting to engage with the national market.
Presentation KfW Development BankKfW Tunisia
AHK – German-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce
Successful business engagement abroad needs a committed, experienced and competent local partner. We support you from the first contact to the establishment and expansion of collaborations. In addition, we actively support you in all areas relevant to success.
Do you want to do business in Tunisia?Don’t hesitate to contact us: email@example.comFor general and multi-country requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
The successful applicants come from the sectors industry, education, and fashion. As part of Invest for Jobs, the Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) co-finances more than 6 million euros for their job-creating investments.
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