According to World Bank data from 2018, Tunisian foreign trade accounts for 111% of the country’s GDP. The production of wires and cables continues to be the main exporting industry in Tunisia (12.9% of all exports), followed by textile, petroleum derivatives, electrical equipment, olive oil and transport. As for Morocco, according to the World Bank, foreign trade accounts for 88% of the country’s GDP, with car exports in first place (12.2%), followed by enamelled or anodised wire, fertilisers, suits, travel, transport and business services. The country is home to manufacturing facilities of French Renault car manufacturers and auto parts suppliers. In addition, the European Union is the main trading partner of Tunisia and Morocco.

Among the EU countries, France was Tunisia’s first trading partner, representing 30.6% of Tunisian exports and 15.1% of its imports (second only to Italy). Italy is the second largest exporter of Tunisian exports and the largest importer. Morocco’s main trading partners are Spain and France, followed by Italy, USA and India.

According to data from the World Trade Organization (WTO), Tunisian import/export has increased progressively since 2016 to the present and continues to increase! In 2018 we see in fact that the imports of goods from Tunisia amounted to 22.7 billion dollars in 2018, against 15.5 billion dollars for exports. In the same year, the imports of services have reached almost 3 billion dollars while the value of the exports of services piled to 3,64 billion dollars, then translated in percentage the imports would represent 60.7% of the GDP and the exports 49.8% (World Bank data 2019). In the first place of the exported products, with 13.2% of total exports, there are: enamelled or anodised wire, coaxial cables and other insulated conductors for electricity, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with parts of conjunction. This highlights an incredible opportunity for all Italian companies specialised in processing raw materials.

According to WTO data, Morocco exported USD 28.60 billion in goods in 2018, while imports reached twice that value, USD 51 billion. As for services, the country confirmed the reverse trend in 2018 recording 9.29 billion dollars in imports and almost double value of 17.89 billion dollars for exports. This would represent 48.3% of GDP for imports and 39.1% of GDP for exports (regarding WB data). Also, in this case, there is an opportunity for Italy, the opportunity to grow in a mutual collaboration with an emerging country, which opens to the possibility of transferring know-how as a transfer of knowledge but also as a business model.

In this article, Morocco and Tunisia are analysed, but we should always keep in mind that the African continent is made up of 54 countries. Countries and realities that in turn present various opportunities for Italian trade. Moreover, this particular period of health emergency will necessarily entail a greater development of intra-continental trade.

As a result, there will be a development of the supply chains of production and distribution of goods.

Today more than ever, it is essential to focus on issues such as sustainability, social impact and environmental impact. These are objectives that cannot be achieved without cooperation and mutual cooperation. Cooperation derives from the Latin cum, that is, together and operari, that is, operate, in summary: working together, directing towards the same point. Well, this cooperation is necessary in order to achieve profit, prosperity and growth on both sides. In the mutual respect of the environment and sustainability, because as the philosopher Bertrand Russell said: “The only thing that can redeem humanity is cooperation.”

– Aurora Vari

traduzione di Aurora Vari