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. However, the extensive regulation in the country – compared to many OECD countries – prevents it from reaching its full potential.

In the context of a programme undertaken by the Government of Tunisia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the OECD has been asked to share its extensive experience in competition assessment and in capacity building in order to identify restrictions and provide recommendations that aim at increasing consumer’s welfare and economic growth.

In co-operation with Tunisia, the OECD conducted a review of laws and regulations in the freight transport and the retail and wholesale trade sectors. The project started in August 2018 and the OECD recommendations were presented in June 2019. [See the report]

The OECD used its Competition Assessment Toolkit, which is designed to identify shortcomings in the regulatory and policy environment. The Toolkit is organised around a list of questions that screen whether regulations can potentially restrict competition, for instance by creating barriers to entry or by discriminating between suppliers. The OECD also held extensive consultations with the Tunisian administration and other stakeholders to tailor the analysis and the recommendations to the Tunisian reality.

This work was complemented by workshops to build the capacity of Tunisian officials to conduct competition assessment, 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 the transport sector

The Government of Tunisia, MCC and the OECD have decided to focus the project on maritime freight transport, road freight transport, and support activities for maritime and road transport – such as logistics platforms or freight forwarding services – due to their economic importance.

Maritime transport accounts for the vast majority of Tunisian foreign trade, followed by road transport which is also essential for internal trade. Support services to freight transport have a crucial role in modern multi-modal chains of transport. However, they are estimated to be significantly more expensive in Tunisia than in other emerging and developed countries.


Why the retail and wholesale trade sectors

It was also decided to analyse wholesale and retail trade, with a focus on fruits, vegetables and red meat. Food price inflation has been on an upward trend in the last few years, with fruits and vegetables among the products whose prices have increased the most. These are important products for Tunisian households and therefore their prices have an impact on purchasing power, especially for lower-income consumers.


18 September 2019 - Tunis, Tunisia

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OECD Deputy Secretary General Ludger Schuknecht launched the results of the Review in Tunis on 18 September 2019. The President of Tunisia’s Competition Council, Tunisia’s Minister of Development, Investment and International Co-operation Zied Ladhari and Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Vice President Anthony Welcher participated actively in the event. 



Project stages and outcomes

Launched in August 2018, the assessment took 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.


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.


Formulating recommendations for redesigning regulations. This includes the identification of alternatives to the existing ones, taking into account their objective.


Presenting the key findings and recommendations to the relevant stakeholders.


Publishing the final report including all findings and recommendations.

Workshops to build the capacity of Tunisian officials and to exchange experiences and good practices were carried out by the OECD.

Throughout the whole process the OECD consulted the Tunisian authorities and the main stakeholders in order to have a better understanding of the Tunisian reality.

For queries about the project and to provide input please contact



Competition Assessment Toolkit

Competition reviews by Country

Economic survey of Tunisia

OECD Competition

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Abuse of dominance & monopolisation

Cartels & anti-competitive agreements

Digital Economy and innovation

Enforcement practices

Evaluation of competition interventions 

International co-operation

Liberalisation & intervention in regulated sectors

Market studies


Pro-competitive policy reforms  

Key materials, Tools & Guidance

Best practice roundtables

Calendar of activities

Competition assessment toolkit

Country reports & peer reviews

Fighting bid rigging in public procurement 


Reports by the Competition Committee

Reports by competition agencies

Global Relations

About global relations

Hungary centre

Korea centre

Global Forum on Competition

Latin American and Caribbean Competition Forum



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