SIPPO in Tunisia: Strong Partnerships and Tangible Results

Since 2017, SIPPO has been active in Tunisia, building strong relationships with local Business Support Organizations (BSOs). Besides focusing on capacity development for BSOs, SIPPO collaborates with partner organizations such as the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) and SECO’s “PAMPAT” initiative. This collaboration leverages synergies and strengthens export promotion across various sectors within Swiss cooperation projects. 

Partnerships in Tunisia

SIPPO Tunisia has established a solid and long-lasting partnership with five partner BSOs since 2017. These include the Export Promotion Center (CEPEX), the Tunisian Trade Promotion Organization, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tunis (CCITunis), the Agricultural Investment Promotion Agency (APIA), the Canned Food Industries Group (GICA), and the Inter-professional Group of Fisheries Products (GIPP). These BSOs support their exporters at sector-specific, regional, national, and international levels, aligning well with the SIPPO Program to enhance their work methodologies and skills.

Enhancing BSO Performance to Assist Exporters Internationally
Aiming to increase exports to Switzerland and Europe, SIPPO collaborates with selected BSOs to offer competitive, high-quality premium products. The partnership emphasizes the promotion of sustainable products and trade, enabling local exporters to better meet international buyers’ expectations through targeted BSO support. 

Tangible Results: New Support Services for Local Companies
SIPPO’s partner BSOs have developed new support services to assist companies attending international trade fairs and connect with new buyers. These services include specific guidance during event preparation, setting up meetings with target players, and proactive buyer engagement at international trade shows. Post-event, BSOs facilitate information exchange and lessons learned with companies in the sector.

This approach to sector intelligence and international networking has strengthened the SIPPO BSO partners’ service offerings to their members, improving Tunisian representation at international events.

Harmonious Collaboration within the TRIC Network
Since the first phase of the SIPPO mandate, SIPPO has worked complementarily with the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) as part of the TRIC network—a network of European Import Promotion programs. This network facilitates the exchange of knowledge and coordination of activities to leverage synergies globally and on country level.

Both SIPPO and IPD harmonize their efforts to enhance their mandates and maximize benefits for BSOs and their exporters. A significant outcome is the development of a specific promotion strategy for the Natural Ingredients sector. 

Trade Fairs: Specializing in High-Potential Industries
SIPPO supports its partner BSOs at trade fairs, focusing on high-potential industries like Natural Ingredients, Processed Food, and Fish & Seafood. Concurrently, IPD concentrates on skills development for SMEs at relevant international events, aligning intervention approaches with their mandates to better serve BSOs and their companies in these sectors. This alignment has also led to shared costs and enhanced information exchange between BSOs and companies.

Strengthening Export Promotion within Swiss Cooperation Projects
From the beginning of its mandate in July 2017, SIPPO has established collaborative ties with the “PAMPAT” project to bolster the export promotion component across Swiss Cooperation Projects (SCPs). During its ongoing second phase, SIPPO continues to add expertise to value chain projects in all 12 SIPPO countries through this collaboration.

BSO Capacity Development
SIPPO supports BSOs with capacity development so that the SME members of PAMPAT are provided with market access services adapted to their needs. Working closely with BSOs and PAMPAT, SIPPO helps consolidate its methodology and transfer market access knowledge, significantly impacting the local ecosystem through coordinated interventions.

During both phases of SIPPO’s intervention in Tunisia (Phase 1: 07.2017 - 06.2021, Phase 2: 07.2021 - 06.2025), there have been notable achievements, such as enhancing PAMPAT member companies' skills through the SIPPO market access methodology and raising sustainability awareness among SMEs. 

Impact Case Study Tunisia December 2023
By providing capacity development to BSOs, SIPPO employs an indirect approach where BSOs directly benefit and, in turn, support their exporting companies—SIPPO’s indirect beneficiaries. This approach not only contributes to sustainable and inclusive trade but also ensures scalability as BSOs can reach more SMEs than SIPPO could directly. An Impact Case Study conducted in Tunisia in December 2023 validates the value created for BSOs and their member companies, demonstrating the effectiveness of SIPPO's targeted sub-sector focus and collaborative strategy with BSOs – as illustrated by the testimonials below.


Their support was not just for being present at the fair but involved extensive support before, during, and after the event. CEPEX’s guidance on how to present our products, deal with potential customers, and follow up on leads was invaluable. Their comprehensive approach has been instrumental in our initial success in the export market.”

Fatma, Founder of Biovalley


“We have participated at the BIOFACH trade fair for 30 years now. But with SIPPO’s support during these last two editions, we felt we saw the trade fair with another set of eyes. And we learned how we can improve the offer and service to exporting companies.”

APIA Export Promotion Lead


SIPPO in Tunisia
Active in three sectors—Fish & Seafood, Processed Food, and Natural Ingredients—SIPPO in Tunisia partners with five organizations. The team, led by Wajdi Ben Othman, Country Representative, and Héla Chaouachi, Export Promotion Manager, boasts extensive experience in both public and private sector export promotion.

Read more about Tunisia here: SIPPO

Read more about our sectors here: Export - SIPPO

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