Tunisia and the European Union (EU) have launched negotiations for a free trade agreement to improve market access opportunities and the investment climate, and support ongoing economic reforms in Tunisia.

The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) will extend significantly beyond the scope of the existing Association Agreement to include trade in services, government procurement, competition, intellectual property rights, and investment protection.

It will bring Tunisian legislation closer to EU legislation in trade-related areas, and could ultimately lead to a gradual integration of Tunisia's economy into the EU single market.

Textiles and clothing are the third largest category of exports from the EU to Tunisia, accounting for 12.4% of the total.

Likewise, flows of foreign direct investment to Tunisia are concentrated on the development of the infrastructure network as well as of the textiles and clothing sectors.

In 2014, textile and clothing imports into the EU from Tunisia fell 2.8% to EUR2.363bn, while exports dropped 4.8% to EUR1.303bn, according to recent data.