After the political changing following to the revolution of 14 January 2011, Tunisia is going to start an economic evolution by the implementation of new measures in order to improve the production tools of goods and services, to provide more justice concerning the regional development, which has been abandoned until now, and also to develop the export.

The flagship measure prepared by the government is : the New Investment Code

Indeed, Tunisia has promoted, since 1972, the investment in all sectors by providing financial and tax shelter (common or special) which had been more important every year, until the implementation of the Investment Code (Law of 27 December 1993) which has been also evaluated.

The investment incitements implemented by the current code turn around 4 principal subjects:

  • The mains juridical regimes (regime (i) of totally offshore companies, (ii) of participation up to 49.9% unless authorization, (iii) of activities non covered by the Code, (iv)of agricultural sector);
  • Financial incitements (investment bonus, repatriation guarantees, etc.) ;
  • Tax shelters (exoneration and tax advantages, etc.)
  • Special incitements (Free zone, regional development, technological promotion, environmental protection, etc.)

The Minister of the investment and the international cooperation, Mr. Riadh BETTAIEB has announced, during his speech on 8 December 2012, the orientation of the new investment politic with the new code as the key of this politic.

He also declared that the new code has to:

  • Put emphasis on the principal of “investment freedom” (decrease the number of the activities which are submitted to authorization, decrease the limitations provided by the other codes, introduce more flexibility regarding the employment of the foreign executives);
  • Improve the system of the disagreement settlement for the investors based on arbitration;
  • Rationalize and balance the current financial and tax shelters (implementation of news systems as tax credit, favour the certification system for the development of human resources, etc.)
  • Improve the investment governance with a best coordination between the parties and a simplification of the required procedures

Our office lawyer, CWA Tunisia in cooperation with Eversheds LLP is following the evolution of the current work regarding the new code. Please find below our team’s analysis of this project, at this stage:

  • The code is still a project and its writing is not scheduled yet;
  • The new code looks like some amendments of the existing code and not like a real new code;
  • There is principally a new incitement in some specific sectors with the implementation of some new tools;
  • However, according to political reasons, the regional development will be at the center of the new code.

Mohamed Raouf EL HENI and Farès Koussay EL HENI Partners, CWA Tunisia in cooperation with Eversheds LLP