OCO Global and PCIAW® open doors for nearshoring opportunities in Tunisia to provide resilience to supply chains.
OCO Global is a consulting firm specialising in international trade and investment, working alongside governments and the private sector for almost 20 years, developing and implementing wide-reaching international business strategies.
The London-based consultative firm works in partnership with the Department of International Trade (DIT) to support UK exporters into North America, UAE, and Europe, supporting economies ranging from Japan and Switzerland, to New York and Newcastle.
OCO shares PCIAW®’s sustained commitment to creating thousands of jobs across local economies, revivifying industries around the world. The company also offers its services to private companies, helping them to exponentially grow exports and international market entry plans.
OCO Global and PCIAW®’s shared vision
Together, the PCIAW® and OCO Global are forging the future by opening the ready-to-go Tunisian manufacturing base for the professional clothing market. With Brexit looming and the disruption caused by the pandemic, we are seeing more companies and countries looking at shoring-up their supply chain. It is now fundamental for the competitiveness and sustainability of businesses worldwide.
The textiles industry has seen this movement accelerating over the last few years due to new industry players driving down minimum order quantities and increasing the speed of introducing new products. For professional workwear suppliers, the time has also come to reimagine their supply chain. Cost remains important, but quality, sustainability, and security of supply are now at least as critical in the decision-making process.
Enriching international investment
Despite the uncertainty generated in international trade prospects by ongoing Brexit negotiations, OCO Global is leading the world in displaying the effects of market diversification and supply chain resiliency and flexibility.
OCO is launching an enriching initiative in conjunction with a UK government-funded programme, which is led by the British Embassy in Tunis and managed by Tetratech, to support Tunisian companies to build commercial relationships with UK buyers and suppliers. The OCO vision aims to support Tunisian exporters access the UK market whilst simultaneously empowering UK buyers/suppliers access a nearshore supply base that will help maintain their competitiveness and resilience. OCO services are also free.
Strengthening links with Tunisia
OCO Global is eager to develop its connections with Tunisia, a dynamic and enriching textiles nation. The expansive nature of the global economy has propelled OCO to continually assess markets and consider new locations. Tunisia, a country located in the Maghreb region in North Africa, is moving forward from a turbulent past and is now leading world-class industries of food, fashion, and ICT. OCO is working to facilitate collaborations between UK buyers and Tunisian manufacturers, navigating beyond perceived political uncertainty to shine a spotlight on significantly competitive product costs and dynamic, inventive, people. Tunisia possesses a vast spectrum of talents and facilities with the capacity for washing, spinning and dyeing yarns and a precision for manufacturing.
Tunisia boasts a range of established professional workwear firms that provide quality, cost, speed and innovation whilst delivering the desired flexibility, reliability and diversity needed in this new world order.
The nation is already well known to the PCIAW®, which is keen to redevelop its linkages with this neighbouring supply partner.
An expansive textiles sector
The textile and clothing sector contributed approximately 17% to country GDP in 2017 and about 20% of the total value of Tunisian exports. The European Union is the main destination (95%) of the sector’s exports with France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain accounting for 93%.
France and Italy represent almost two-thirds of the exports so the quality of Tunisia’s suppliers is clear to see – there is a great opportunity for the UK to increase its share of these exports.
The textile sector is one of the largest employers in Tunisia, with over 161,000 workers and around 1600 companies. Tunisian-owned enterprises and enterprises with mixed (Tunisian-foreign) ownership amount to 60% of all enterprises, whilst 40% are entirely foreign-owned.
The textile and clothing industry is mainly concentrated in the centre and North-East of Tunisia with 83% of all textile enterprises located there (APII, 2017). This is explained by the abundance of the workforce, existing infrastructure and the proximity of exporting zones.
Encouraging investment: incentives and privileges
The sector is also subject to the Investment Code, which was reviewed and changed to the Investment Law in 2016 that provides more incentives, privileges and tax exemptions in order to encourage investments such as:
• Exemptions on imported materials intended for export goods and on materials and equipment purchased locally
• Exemptions on the enterprise’s income and transactions
• Expenses covered by the state including infrastructure work and contributions to the social security system
• No prior authorisation needed by the Higher Commission of the Investment for any enterprise with 100% foreign direct investment (FDI)
A hub of dynamic workwear
There are 198 enterprises specialised in workwear with approximately 12% of all enterprises in the textile sector, employing around 18,400 workers. Of these, 48% are foreign or partnership enterprises which employ 68% of the labour force. France occupies the top rank of workwear enterprises; Germany is ranked second and Belgium third. Together the three countries account for 72% of all foreign workwear enterprises.
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