This chapter includes the following articles.
Unlike many economies elsewhere on the continent, Tunisia’s construction market is dominated by local firms, which are also becoming increasingly active abroad, not only in nearby countries like neighbouring Algeria, but also in parts of West Africa. The domestic market is primarily driven by government investment and, following a slowdown in 2015 – a result, in part, of low implementation rates of state-backed projects – there has been a push to improve tendering and contracting procedures. An improvement in the fortunes of the domestic construction market will depend on a range of factors, including the government’s ability to address bottlenecks in project implementation, the extent to which the tourism sector can recover from the major downturn it has entered since 2011, and improvements in the real estate market – which in turn depend on factors such as banking sector liquidity and the pricing and availability of affordable land. The Tunisian real estate development industry is fragmented, with a large number of developers for a comparatively small market. Property, and especially land prices, has seen consistently strong growth in recent years, but 2015 was a difficult year for developers due to factors such as rising construction costs, land shortages and reduced banking sector liquidity. However, industry figures indicate that revenues could improve in 2016 as several important projects under construction come on-line. The government is also looking to stimulate activity by increasing housing access for lower-income families and providing targeted support for larger developments. This chapter contains an interview with Radhi Meddeb, CEO, Comete Engineering.