Fostering competition in Tunisia



Background and general framework of the project

The Tunisian economy has been resilient in the last few years. The standard of living of Tunisians has improved and the poverty rate has declined over the past decades. The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic crisis has deeply affected tourism, industrial activity and exports and resulted in an unprecedented real GDP contraction of 8.8% in 2020.  Economic activity may return to pre-pandemic levels no sooner than late-2023.

In the context of the European Union’s "Programme d'Appui à la Gouvernance Economique” the Government of Tunisia wishes to improve the national business climate and revive business investment as part of a post-COVID recovery plan. The OECD has been asked to contribute to this effort and share its extensive experience in pro-competitive reforms to identify restrictions and provide recommendations that aim at increasing consumer’s welfare and economic growth.

In co-operation with Tunisia, the OECD has conducted a peer review of competition law and policy in 2021 and is finalising a review of laws and regulations in the tourism sector and a market study of the banking sector. The project started in February 2021 and builds on the success of the first OECD Competition Assessment ever conducted in the country in 2019 and which covered two important sectors of the economy: wholesale and retail trade as well as road and maritime freight transport.

The OECD has held extensive consultations with the Tunisian administration and other stakeholders to tailor the analysis and the recommendations of both reviews to the Tunisian reality. The work was complemented by workshops to build the capacity of Tunisian officials to conduct competition assessments, in line with international best practices. 

The essential role of competition

Increased competition can improve a country’s economic performance, open business opportunities and reduce the cost of goods and services to the benefit of consumers.

Although laws and regulations are necessary for the well functioning of our societies and economies, in some cases they can restrict competition, preventing the said benefits from taking place.

Competition assessment is the process of identifying restrictive regulations and developing alternative, less restrictive measures that still achieve government policy objectives. This exercise could significantly reduce unnecessary restrictions and contribute to continued and sustained growth.

Why a competition assessment of the tourism sector

The Government of Tunisia, the European Union and the OECD have decided to conduct a competition assessment of the tourism sector given its importance for the economy, especially from a post-COVID perspective.

Tourism has historically played a central role in the Tunisian economy. As one of the largest contributing sectors to GDP and employment, tourism is a major contributor to foreign currency reserves. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector are being considered as severe with about a 60% drop in earnings in 2020. Preparing the sector for potential recovery and enabling it to reach its full potential, including removing barriers that may hinder the competitive and efficient functioning of the industry is the main objective of the Tunisian authorities.

A competition assessment will help identify restrictive regulations in the sector and develop alternative, less restrictive measures that still achieve government policy objectives, contributing to continued and sustained growth. This assessment, made based on the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit was launched during the first edition of the competition day, an event co-oganised by the OECD, GIZ and the EU delegation in Tunisia in collaboration with the Tunisian Competition Council.

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Why a market study of the banking sector

Banks are the cornerstone of the Tunisian financial system where they account for more than 90% of intermediated financing. On the other hand, the share of bank credit in GDP is still low by regional and international standards and access to finance was one of the main obstacles identified by Tunisian businesses across several recent surveys (WEF, 2017/ WB 2014). 

A market studies of the sector will help assess the effectiveness of competition and, if competition issues are identified, propose recommendations to address them with the objective of supporting better outcomes for consumers in terms of innovation and prices, and fostering long-lasting growth. This assessment is made based on the Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities.

 Fostering competition in Tunisia

Co-funded by the EU‌ 




Tunisia launches competition assessment review of the tourism sector

Tunis, 6 June 2023: The OECD launched the competition assessment review of Tunisia's tourism sector during the first edition of the competition day, an event co-oganised by the OECD, GIZ and the EU delegation in Tunisia in collaboration with the Tunisian Competition Council.

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Read the press release

Download the agenda (in French)

See pictures of the event



OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Tunisia 

OECD Peer Reviews of Competition Law and Policy: Tunisia

Competition Assessment Toolkit

Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities

Economic survey of Tunisia

2021 Project Launch Press Release (French, pdf)

OECD Competition



For queries about the project and to provide input please contact [email protected]


Project stages and outcomes

Launched in February 2021, the assessments will take place in six stages:


Identifying the laws and regulations relevant for the sectors in scope.


Reviewing the selected laws and regulations using the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit to identify potential barriers to competition in the tourism sector and reviewing the banking sector based on the OECD Market Studies Guide for Competition Authorities. 

3 Conducting an in-depth analysis of the potential barriers, including identifying the policy maker’s objective and assessing the possible competitive harm resulting from them.
4 Formulating recommendations for redesigning regulations. This includes the identification of alternatives to the existing ones, taking into account their objective.
5 Presenting the key findings and recommendations to the relevant stakeholders.
6 Publishing the final report including all findings and recommendations.

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