Market intelligence, institutional benchmarking, capability building and strategic support

Client: North Africa Joint Unit of the FCDO and the British Embassy Tunisia

Location: Tunisia and London, UK

Target Sectors: Tech, Agri-food, Textiles

Markets: United Kingdom

Delivery: 2018-2021

About the project 

Tunisian companies are too heavily dependent on France and Italy as export markets. The challenge of this programme was to increase awareness of the UK market opportunities for Tunisian companies across the three sectors of Agri-food, Textiles and Tech and to drive engagement and new export sales with the goal of creating employment.

How OCO Global Supported:

We delivered market intelligence, institutional benchmarking, capability building and strategic support to promote Tunisia-UK trade.

OCO took a four-stage approach to this project:

  • Phase 1: OCO conducted market intelligence to understand the export opportunities in the UK for Tunisian companies and to narrow down the highest potential opportunities.
  • Phase 2: OCO delivered an institutional capacity building programme including institutional benchmarking, website development, models to identify high potential exporters and UK buyers and workshops on good practices and export support.
  • Phase 3: OCO responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing research and analysis on the pandemic’s impact on UK opportunities and the Tunisian capability to meet changing demands, as well as further capacity building support focused on disaster recovery.
  • Phase 4: OCO is designing a potential new long-term programme, providing detailed research and analysis on Tunisia’s long-term sectoral focus, specific actions to take to support companies and focusing on embedding support to women-led businesses and sustainability considerations.


  • Detailed reports on UK sector opportunities in Agri-food, textiles and ICT, presented in workshops to over 150 Tunisian companies.
  • A comprehensive UK export guide (digital & physical) to help companies prepare for exporting to the UK.
  • An institutional benchmarking report.
  • Capacity building workshops in Tunisia (pre- and post-pandemic) and UK market visits.
  • Promotional websites for each of the three priority sectors.
  • A long-term trade strategy focused on women entrepreneurs and sustainability.

“I have been doing this for 27 years, and you have completely changed how I think about my business. The lessons we have learned this week should not be reserved for the 8 companies in this room but for the 1500 textile businesses in Tunisia. We can’t thank you enough.”

Adnene Hamsa, CEO, Mahdco

“OCO have been working with the British Embassy to support Tunisian SMEs and related institutions on their export journeys since 2018.
The quality of OCO’s work is evidenced by the number of export deals secured across the tech, textiles and agrifood sectors, which have helped to safeguard and create good quality jobs for Tunisians.
The project has now evolved to focus on women’s economic empowerment within an export context. We would recommend OCO’s services to other aid programmes which are focused on supporting trade and investment throughout the world.”

Embassy spokesperson