Tunisia: Improving the international competitiveness of the textile and clothing sector (GTEX/MENATEX)
In Central Asia and Tunisia, the programme will build on lessons learned and achievements realised in previous projects. Implementation, therefore, will kick-start with a well-defined approach. For the country projects in Egypt and Morocco a six month, an inception phase is foreseen to develop the country-specific approaches and fine-tune the interventions according to country priority needs and opportunities, as well as by taking into account the regional aspects already applied in the COM-TEXHA project.
Sustainable Development Goals
Changing lives in Tunisia’s textile and clothing sector
ITC’s Global Textiles and Clothing (GTEX/MENATEX) project in Tunisia aims to create jobs and increase the income of micro small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the textile and clothing industry.
To that end, ITC is working with the government on policies to improve the sector’s business environment and the competitiveness of the clothing sector.
The project supports 50 companies in four sub-sectors of jeans, lingerie / swimwear, protective clothing, and a sub-sector of young local designers in clothing brands. Through training and mentoring programmes, beneficiary companies have the opportunity to increase their visibility in the global textile and clothing (T&C) market, participate in international fairs and improve their product portfolio according to the latest trends.
Textiles and clothing is the largest industry in Tunisia, contributing almost 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Companies export 95% of their production mainly to EU countries such as France, Italy, and Germany.
Turning COVID-19 into opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Tunisian textile and clothing sector hard. Commerce began reopening in 2021, showing an 11% increase in the first four months of the year. However, exports have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels.
To help survive these new challenges, through GTEX/MENATEX, ITC assisted companies to reorient their production to medical textiles and face masks. We also paired larger “champion” companies with smaller enterprises to help them overcome the crisis.
On the trade and investment support institutions side, the project helped institutions certify MSMEs that converted to the production of sanitary masks in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to these efforts, beneficiary companies were able to secure 3,500 jobs.