Tunisia - Economic analysis of government policies, investment climate and political risk.






TUNISIA: Economic Policy Analysis

This site presents an analysis of the Tunisian government's economic policies compared to a revised list of 34 economic policies as prepared by Meriem Bejaoui with the McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) in Fall 2016.

To read the analysis scroll through this site. To learn more about the background policies, click here  Introduction and Policy Recommendations

To learn more about MIEPA, click here Return to MIEPA's Home Page

The study is by Meriem Bejaoui, a Tunisian native who currently [December 2016] lives in San Francisco; this study presents the Tunisian government's economic policies as compared to the MIEPA list of policies as outlined above. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:


5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2016. Used herein with permission]

To read a disclaimer about the analysis in this file, scroll to the bottom of the file.

Return to MIEPA's Home Page

Tunisia - Meriem Bejaoui




        1               5.0          15.0             15.0       100 %

        2               5.0          15.0             15.0       100

        3               1.0           3.0             15.0        20

        4               5.0          15.0             15.0       100

        5               4.5          13.5             15.0        90

        6               4.5          13.5             15.0        90

        7               4.5          13.5             15.0        90

        8               4.0          12.0             15.0        80

        9               0.5           4.5             15.0        10

        10              5.0          15.0             15.0       100

        11              3.5          10.5             15.0        70

        12              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        13              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        14              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        15              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        16              4.0           8.0             10.0        80

        17              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        18              0.5           1.0             10.0        10

        19              0.5           1.0             10.0        10

        20              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        21              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        22              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        23              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        24              1.0           2.0             10.0        20

        25              1.5           3.0             10.0        30        

        26              1.0           2.0             10.0        20

        27              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        28              0.5           1.0             10.0        10

        29              2.0           2.0              5.0        40 

        30              1.0           1.0              5.0        20

        31              5.0           5.0              5.0       100

        32              1.0           1.0              5.0        20

        33              1.0           1.0              5.0        20

        34              5.0           5.0              5.0       100

   TOTAL              114.0         258.5            365.0        70.8%
                      =====        ======            =====        =====



01. Freedom from internal control: 5.0

Based on a rubric drawn from international human rights norms that examines political rights and civil liberties, the report categorizes countries as "not free," "partly free" or "free." After jumping from "not free" to "partly free" following the overthrow of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia became the first Arab country since the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975 to be rated as "free" in the report.

Most Tunisians are Muslims but everyone is free to wear whatever they want (short, tall, hijab, bikini…) and go anywhere they want freely.

Source: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/tunisia-free-arab-judiciary-political-challenges.html

02. Freedom of speech: 5.0

Years ago, before the revolution, no one had the right to express their honest opinion, from the press to big and small artists, everyone lived in fear. You misplace one word today; you might disappear tomorrow. … The government used to silence any voices of which the authorities disapproved and would throw people in jail.

But everything has changed; the transitional government proclaimed freedom of information and expression as a foundational principle for the country, and vast new press freedoms emerged from the revolution. The new constitution also guarantees freedoms of opinion, expression, information, and publication. Academic freedom continues to improve in practice. Article 33 of the new constitution explicitly protects academic freedom and guarantees state support of scientific research.

Rappers are now free to write whatever they want and express themselves in ways they had never imagined possible, the Tunisian channels present multiple talk shows about politics where hosts express their opinions in the most spontaneous way and discuss what’s happening in the country, and you can finally critic the president without getting arrested.

Source: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2015/tunisia


03. Effective, fair police force: 1.0

Even though the police force is strong and efficient, corruption may pose an obstacle for businesses investing in Tunisia. The police are ranked as the most corrupt institution in Tunisia. More than two-thirds of households perceive the police to be corrupt, while one in ten report having resorted to bribery to avoid problems. Investigations into police corruption and abuse by government authorities lack transparency. However, companies are confident in the reliability of Tunisian police forces to protect from crime and to uphold law and order.

Source: http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/tunisia

04. Private property: 5.0

Foreigners can purchase real estate property in Tunisia; however, they need administrative authorization to buy or sell property in a non-agricultural zone, such authorization is rarely refused. An agricultural estate or residence located in an agricultural zone may not be owned by a foreigner, but rent is allowed.

Private property titles are kept in a computerized format with a scanned copy of the original paper, are nationally recognized, and are protected by the law. Therefore, both men and women have equal ownership rights. Property owners have the right to sell, rent, and do as they please with their properties.

Source: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Middle-East/Tunisia/Inheritance

05. Commercial banks: 4.5

All commercial banks in Tunisia provide checking accounts, saving accounts, and loans to both individuals and businesses. They are also allowed to collect deposits of any maturity, provide short and medium term credit and may engage in long-term credit operations for up to 3% of their deposit base.

Source: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/1998/cr98129.pdf

06. Communication systems: 4.5

The communication systems in Tunisia is good because they always try to make improvements and offer new deals.

Tunisia has 17 radio channels, 3 phone service providers (Tunisie Telecom: since1996, Ooredoo: since 2002, and Orange tunisie: since 2010), and 15 newspapers/magazines (most of them are in French, Example: Tunivisions).

94% of households in Tunisia have TVs in their home. The dominant platform in the market is free satellite, though terrestrial platform reaches around 15% of the households.

Tunisia has 17 Free-to-Air channels of which two channels are state-owned: El Watania 1 and El Watania 2.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_in_Tunisia



07. Transportation: 4.5

Tunisia has a total of eight major airports, five of which handle international flights.

Taxis can be found in most cities and towns in the country with greater availability in the touristic areas. Yellow cabs in Tunis operate on a metered system and are relatively inexpensive, but in some area, small towns, taxis may not be metered; if they are not then you should agree on a price to your destination before starting the journey. Especially in airports, taxis will usually fail to turn on the meter (with tourists of course) and charge five to ten times the normal amount. You just have to make sure to tell the driver to put on the meter

In order to move around Tunis, the capital, you can use the Metro Léger (light rail), usually just called the Metro.

Most of the national buses now are air-conditioned, fast, comfortable, and cheap, and travel daily to most towns across the country.

Long-distance shared taxis are called Louages. They are white and red (in some area blue) vans and go from one town to another; you can find it all around the country. This is the quickest form of public road transport, in part because the vans are known to drive significantly faster than all other traffic, which is considered bad and good at the same time. There are many Louage stations and prices are similar to those of buses and trains, significantly less than individual taxis or renting a car.

The public transportation in Tunisia is exactly as the ones in the developed countries, but for a third world country, Tunisia’s public transportation is very good.

Source: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2011/11/28/experience-public-transportation-in-tunisia/


08. Education: 4.0

• Literacy:

In 2011, Female youth (15-24 year) literacy rate is 98.24%.

In 2011, Male youth (15-24 year) literacy rate is 96.32%.

• Enrollment:

In 2013, the net rate of enrolment of children aged 6 was 99.4%. For secondary schools and colleges, the situation is less positive; Over the last 10 years, the enrolment rate of young people aged 12 to 18 has come to a halt at around 75%.

• Tunisia VS The Industrialized Countries:

The Gross enrolment ratio, secondary school, in 2014:

1) United Kingdom: 127.8%

2) France: 110.6%

3) Canada: 109.9%

4) Germany: 102.4%

5) Italy: 102.4%

6) Japan: 101.9%

7) Russia: 100.6%

8) USA: 97.9%

9) Tunisia: 87.6%

Since gaining independence from the French in 1956, Tunisian education sector has shown great progress. The government of Tunisia has focused on developing an education system which produces a solid human capital base that could respond to the changing needs of a developing nation. Education is the number one priority of the government of Tunisia, with more than 20% of government’s budget allocated for education in 2005/06.

The Tunisian State guarantees the right to education for all children aged 6-16 years. Access to education has greatly increased since independence (1956), and in 1991 the enrollment became mandatory for all. Today, more than one in four Tunisian attends school and nearly all children attend school. schools in Tunisia could be very tough (compared to the Industrialized Countries). For example, in the second year of high school you have to choose a major (science, math, technology, literature, and economics) and once you make a choice you can never change it. Also, to graduate from high school you have to pass the baccalaureate (national exam), which is extremely hard. The baccalaureate is both a school leaving and a university entrance examination, and the success rate is lower than for other tests of this type; on average, 60 percent of students who take it do not pass. But the good thing, is that the Tunisian Baccalaureate degree is accepted everywhere because it is known of its efficiency.

Source: http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/tunisia/literacy-rate



09. Social Mobility: 0.5

Graduate unemployment is almost at crisis level in Tunisia. It is taking an average of six years for a university graduate to find a stable job, according to a World Bank study.

By the age of 35, half of all university graduates in Tunisia are still unemployed and looking for a job, as mobility from school to work is very slow.

Graduates who find good jobs have usually good connections. Almost all poor people in Tunisia stay financially the same even with degrees.

More than 200 thousand Tunisian graduates are unable to find work in their field of study, so they work as waiter/waitress…

Source: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2015011514041913


10. Freedom from outside control: 5.0

France invaded Tunisia in 1881. Tunisia declared its independence in 1956. It was a dictatorship until the Arab Spring kicked off in January 14th, 2011. Today, Tunisia is a free democratic county, an example to follow in the Arab world and the middle east.

Tunisia is a signatory of a number of treaties with privacy implications, including:

*The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

*The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

The new constitution has many advanced provisions related to human rights, including the preamble, which declares Tunisia to be respectful of human values and universal principles of human rights. The second chapter is devoted to the affirmation of the rights and freedoms of every citizen.

Source: https://privacyinternational.org/node/743

11. Protection of Domestic Enterprises: 3.5

Tunisia trade for goods and services shows a deficit, more imports than exports:

*Tunisia recorded a Current Trade Account deficit of 1758.30 Million TND in the first quarter of 2016.

*Tunisia recorded a Balance of Trade deficit of 1073.20 Million TND in September of 2016.

Tunisia is trying to wide-ranging its structural reforms to gain growth.

Measures to streamline import and promote export will be announced soon, to reduce the trade balance deficit of 500 million dinars, Trade Minister Mohsen Hassen said in June 2016. The plan, to be submitted to a Cabinet meeting on June 22, will include tariff measures providing for the increase of customs duties for certain products and non-tariff measures like technical inspection on imports and reducing the import of consumer products, in addition to the rationalization of vehicle imports. The government took steps to increase exports through decisions related to funding exports, improving logistics services and ports in addition to organizing a promotion day of Tunisian products abroad and the preservation of the value of the Tunisian dinar

Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/tunisia/current-account


12. Foreign currency transactions: 5.0

The Tunisian Dinar is the only currency used in Tunisia. The euro is common in Tunisia too, but you can do nothing with it, you can’t pay stores or restaurants, unless you change it to the TND first. All foreign currencies (euro, Pound, Dollar…) must be converted to the TND to conduct business.

In all airports in Tunisia, there is always an open bank counter near the arrival/departure zone, so travelers can exchange their currency to the TND.

ATMs in Tunisia are, at least in the tourist areas and big cities, available in large numbers. The machines accept most credit and debit cards of Visa, MasterCard and Maestro. But only the Tunisian Dinars can be withdrawn.

Source: http://www.tunispro.net/tunisia/money-in-tunisia.htm

13. Border control: 4.5

Tunisia went through a series of deadly attacks by ISIS on foreign holidaymakers on a beach hotel and a Tunis museum, in 2015. The Islamic State has gained ground and set up training camps. They also launched a major assault on the border town of Ben Guerdane in March 2016.

After the series of terrorist attack, which all happened after the revolution, Tunisia’s government stood up to the problem:

Tunisia and Algeria have agreed to increase their cooperation against Islamist militants by improving border security to preserve their security and stability.

Also, the United States has agreed to fund a multi-million-dollar project to install an electronic security surveillance system on Tunisia's border with strife-torn Libya.

The United States gave jeeps, communications technology and small aircraft to Tunisia on Thursday to help protect the border with Libya

Tunisia is also expecting to receive a number of attack aircraft, jeeps, and communications technology from the US to strengthen security along the frontier.

Tunisia has already built a 200-km (120-mile) barrier along the frontier with Libya.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tunisia-security-idUSKCN0Y32KL


14. Currency: 5.0

The only currency in Tunisia is the Tunisian Dinar, TND.

It is illegal to take ANY Tunisian currency out of the country. You must change back all your TND money, including coins, when you leave.

You can still make purchases at the airside shops and cafes, since they take a range of non-Tunisian currencies, notably Euro, GBP and USD.

Source: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g293753-s601/Tunisia:Banks.And.Money.html

15. Cultural, language homogeneity: 5.0


Tunisians are adept at languages, and schools promote this study.

In Tunisia, there are primarily three languages used:

The local Tunisian dialect: Known locally as Darja (meaning dialect) or Tounsi (meaning Tunisian), Tunisian Arabic is very different from Classical or Modern Standard Arabic. Considered a derivative of Classical Arabic, Tunisian Arabic has a vocabulary that is Arabic. However, many of its words are French, Turkish, Italian, Spanish and Berber: all the cultures that have influenced the country. Words in English have also been integrated this language. People who are fluent in Arabic may not understand it.


French. Arabic, is the official language, and while some businessmen speak English, Italian or German, French is the main language of commerce. French is less apt to be understood in the far south. English and German are also spoken in major cities.

Tunisia has private language schools.

The majority of Tunisians are fluent in French. In school, French is taught to children from the age of eight.

English is taught in school from the age of 10. It may soon become Tunisia’s third official language. Many of Tunisia’s official documents are now being translated into English as well as French.

Street signs, shop signs, important documents, and restaurant menus (…) are written in both Modern Arabic and French.


The principal religion in Tunisia is Islam; there are small Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish minorities.

Tunisia is a liberal and tolerant Muslim society with many equality laws enshrined in the Tunisian Constitution brought in by the country's first president Habib Bourguiba. Polygamy is outlawed, women are free to choose whether to wear the headscarf, and have the right to ask for divorce, work, run their own businesses, and have access to abortion and birth control.

Although cities like Tunis (the capital), Sfax and Sousse can seem extremely liberal and modern, it is important to remember that in more rural areas local life is much more traditional. When visiting mosques and other religious buildings, both sexes should make sure their clothing covers their upper arms and knees, and women should wear a headscarf.

Source: http://www.tourismtunisia.com/the-language-in-tunisia/

16. Political effectiveness: 4.0

Natural Disasters:

Tunisia is vulnerable to natural disasters, particularly floods, earthquakes and droughts. During the past few years, different regions of Tunisia have suffered from floods.

Over the past 30 years Tunisia has experienced 2,495 disasters that caused 1,075 deaths, with assessed economic losses of 756 million US. The disasters destroyed 17,821 houses and damaged another 24,728 (this was recorded in 2013, so the numbers are higher now).

However, Tunisia have taken an important step to strengthen its national disaster management with the establishment of a new disaster loss database.


The Tunisian government is taking the terrorist issue seriously. During the latest attack, the March 7 attack in Ben Gardane, the Tunisian security forces (as well as residents of Ben Gardane) acted swiftly and thoroughly to stop the violence and prevent further casualties. The Tunisian government declared a curfew in the town and shut down major border crossings with Libya. Both President Essebsi and Prime Minister Essid issued harsh statements, with Essebsi vowing to “exterminate terrorist rats.”

Tunisia recently completed a 125-mile long anti-terror barrier along the Libyan border.

To sum up, the political effectiveness of Tunisian is good because the government recognizes the disasters that Tunisia faces and find ways and solutions so solve it.

Source: http://www.unocha.org/romena/about-us/about-ocha-regional/tunisia


17. Institutional stability: 4.5

Tunisia is the only Middle Eastern country that has managed to create a new constitution and an institutional and political balance and stability since the advent of the Arab Spring. The current commander in chief of Tunisia, Beji Caid Esssebsi, is providing the country with economic stability that the interim government couldn’t deliver.

Educational system stability is strong too, the Tunisian government has emphasized education from the perspective of economic growth and stability.

Tunisia’s government is working so hard to provide the country with a strong political and institutional stability.

Source: http://mediterraneanaffairs.com/tunisias-struggle-for-a-long-lasting-stability/



18. Honest government: 0.5

Corruption in Tunisia may pose a very high obstacle to open a business.

Tunisia has witnessed a 42% increase in the level of corruption over the last year; Judicial System, Police (recorded as the most corrupt sector), Public Services (Corruption and practice of favoritism to get things done and obtain documents/permits are pervasive), Land Administration (is a big problem), Tax Administration (bribes constitute a problem for businesses), Customs Administration, Legislation… All the state’s institutions in Tunisia is corrupted, even the court.

o 62% of Tunisians regard the government as having failed in their public fight against corruption. 26% of Tunisians regard the police force as corrupt.

o 31% of Tunisian regard the political class as corrupt.

o 71% of Tunisians believes that they, as private citizens, ad a role to play in the battle against corruption.

In the last few weeks, a viral video has shown a Tunisian police officer in the governorate asking a Libyan and his wife for a bribe in order to ensure their release. After some days, the policeman was eventually suspended.

Luggage theft at the airport is a huge problem in Tunisia; Airport security agents open and steal thousands of holidaymakers’ bags every month.

Source: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2016/06/16/government-no-longer-able-to-fight-its-own-corruption-opposition-figure-alleges/


19. Common laws: 0.5

This policy definitely gets the lowest scores; the Tunisian legal system is corrupt and unfair when it comes to the social classes. Rich people in Tunisia escape justice by pulling some strings, giving bribes or sometimes even just a phone call is enough to get a judicial service done.

Before the revolution, many Tunisians were unemployed, live in poor conditions and oppressed by Ben Ali’s brutal regime, his family, known as ‘The Mafia’, owned more than 50 extravagant cars, luxury homes, banks, several hotels, tv channels, businesses, airline, radio station…

Their daughter, Nesrine, used to fly luxury foods, including ice cream from St Tropez, to her beachside mansion by private jet while her husband, Sakhr, kept a pet tiger, which he fed prime cuts of beef. And when they wanted to take over a property, which they have done it millions of time, and the owner refuses they will make up something to corner him and send him to jail.

Actually, the revolution started because of their wrong doing in the country.

To resume, before the revolution inequality was the biggest problem but even though the Ben Ali Trabelsi family fled the country, the legal system still favors the person with the fattest pocket.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347938/Tunisian-presidents-wife-Leila-Trabelsi-fled-riots-35m-gold-bars.html

20. Central bank: 5.0

The Central Bank of Tunisia was formed two years after Tunisia gained its independence from France, in 1956. In December 1958 the newly created Tunisian Dinar was disconnected from the French franc. The bank maintains a Money Museum which includes a collection of recovered Carthaginian coins.

In compliance with article 33 (new) of law n°2006-26 of 15 May 2006 modifying law n°58-90 of 19 September 1958 providing for creation and organization of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), the main assignment of the monetary policy consists in preserving price stability.

This monetary policy framework is based, further to monetary and credit aggregates, on a diversified range of indicators closely tied to inflation. This involves import prices, output gap, underlying inflation and so on.

Tunisia will be the first country in the world to issue its national currency via advanced cryptofinance technology. The technology can benefit the largest number of people in Tunisia, where transaction costs are high and access to banking is very low.

Tunisia's parliament has approved a law to strengthen the central bank autonomy to shield its board from political interference, one of the key economic reforms sought by the country's international lenders. The central bank will not take instructions from the government and will have absolute control over monetary policy, currency reserves and gold reserves. Before, there was no law prohibiting the government from pressuring central bank policy or making demands on reserves.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Bank_of_Tunisia




21. Domestic budget management: 5.0

In 2010: Tax revenue in Tunisia was 12,698.60 Million TND, while Government Spending was 8,241.10 Million TND.

In 2011: Tax revenue in Tunisia was 13,667.90 0 Million TND, while Government Spending was 11,638.50 Million TND.

In 2012: Tunisia reached a maximum value of tax revenue of 14864.4 million TND, while Government Spending was 12,835.10 Million TND.

It’s obvious from the table above that Tunisia’s government spends less money that the amount it receives from tax revenue. So, this policy gets the highest score.

Source: http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/tunisia/tax-revenue


22. Government debt: 4.5

Tunisia’s Government Debt was 47,5% of GDP in 2014.

The value of Tunisia’s government debt doesn’t exceed 50% of its GDP, but it almost reached 50%. So Tunisia is considered fairly indebted.

Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/tunisia/government-debt-to-gdp

23. Economic statistics: 4.5

The economic statistics in Tunisia are released by the National Institute of Statistics. This institute, created in 1969, coordinates the work of all the other Tunisian public statistics structures, and processes, analysis and disseminates the statistical information. The NIS conducts a general census of population and housing, and publishes a monthly statistical bulletin on which data are updated and disaggregated by governorate. The statistics are very useful and reliable source of data.

Source: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/pdf/commission/2016/country/Agenda%20item%204/Tunisia_EN_Item4.pdf

24. Protection of public health and safety: 1.0


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2,600 people were infected in Tunisia in 2010, and a total of 3,300 people are living with TB. Each year in our country, TB claims the lives of 230 people.

In Tunisia, approximately 2,500 cases of Tuberculosis are recorded every year; 50% of those are extra pulmonary Tuberculosis, while 50% of the cases are in the lungs, with the latter being the most dangerous because it is contagious and transmitted through the air. The non sterile and the curd milk are the main causes of the TB, and the majority of infected people in Tunisia are from the South since they drink the milk directly once it is milked from the cow. Milk must be sterilized in order to be safe to drink.

Incidence of Tuberculosis per 100,000 people in 2014:

*Japan: 18.

*USA: 3.

*Tunisia: 33

TB rates in Tunisia is almost twice TB rates in Japan and 10 times TB rates in USA. We can conclude, that TB rates in Tunisia is still pretty high even though it decreased over the years.

Infant mortality:

Infant mortality per 1,000 live births in 2015:

*Japan: 2.8.

*USA: 5.87.

*Tunisia: 22.35

Infant mortality rates in Tunisia is almost 8 times the rates in japan and 4 times the rates in USA. Infant mortality rates in Tunisia is also bad.

Public health issues rates in Tunisia are considered very low compared to industrialized countries.

Source: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2012/03/24/tuberculosis-affects-thousands-of-people-each-year-in-tunisia/



25. High wage policies: 1.5

The Gross Domestic Product per capita in Tunisia was last recorded at 4234.86 US dollars in 2015. It is the equivalent of 34% of the world's average. Compared to the USA that was last recorded at 51486 US dollars in 2015 and represents 408% of the world's average.

The distribution of income in Tunisia is quite unequal. The top 20% of Tunisians earn 46.3% of the country's total income while the 20% at the bottom of the scale earn only 5.9% of income. The majority of wealthy people live in the North of Tunisia.

According to the National Statistics Institute, unemployment in the region last year was far higher than the national 15% average, with 26.1% of people out of work in the southwest alone.

Tunisia last raised minimum wages in June 2011 under former Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi back then, who is now the Commander-in-chief. Then, the SMIG (in French: salaire minimum interprofessionnel garanti) was fixed at 286 dinars ($129.78) per month for 48 hours of work per week and 246 dinars per month ($111.63) for 40 hours of work per week. The minimum wage for agricultural workers was also increased from 8 dinars to 9 dinars ($4.08) per day. Which is very very low, people spend all day working so hard to get less than $5 at the end of the day, keeping in mind that a lot has happened between 2011 and 2015, the cost of living has gotten through the roof.

Consequently, they can’t afford to buy consumer goods beyond basic living necessities

The cost of living in Tunisia is higher than the average people income.

Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/tunisia/gdp-per-capita



26. Environmental protection: 1.0

In Tunisia intensive use and pollution of natural resources is increasing. The amount of waste and sewage produced is rising, while water and soil resources are under threat, and the teeming traffic in the cities is degrading air quality, along with the poorly regulated factories. Moreover, due to the escalating industrial production there is also a growing quantity of toxic waste and emissions, which are often inadequately treated and disposed of. The ministry responsible for environmental protection faces the task of better integrating environmental issues into the concerns of society and industry.

Tunisia is the fifth largest exporter of phosphate in the world. But though its byproducts are toxic, one factory in the coastal city of Gabes still channels 13,000 tons of the dangerous pollutant into the sea every day. The waters of the Gulf are dead. Industrial pollution has led to the ecological destruction. The stench of ammonia hangs in the air; a thick, black brew bubbles up from a sewer and then flows right into the sea. One new project consists of depositing the Phosphogypsum underground, 25 kilometers (16 miles) away from the factory - to keep it from harming the environment. But now, residents from a nearby village are beginning to protest, fearing that the problem will only be transplanted. If the byproducts are not cleaned up before they are stored away, the village residents could also suffer from the toxins and radioactivity. The Chemical Group has estimated that the new plan would cost some 400 million dinars (around 200 million euros, or $262 million), but the company does not have access to those kinds of funds; There's no money to pay for environmental issues.

Tunisia does more to treat sewage than many of its neighbors (Libya, Algeria…), but untreated urban sewage is still a huge problem (trashes piled up in the streets), contaminating water supplies and causing eutrophication of the country's Mediterranean waters. In rural areas, only 52% of the population has access to adequate sanitation. In addition, toxic wastes from industrial processes are not disposed of effectively, presenting human health risks. And only 0.3% of the country’s land area is protected.

Source: https://www.giz.de/en/worldwide/19687.html



27. Strong army: 4.5

The Tunisian Armed Forces consist of the Tunisian Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The Tunisian Military Forces are neither weak nor strong, they are actually in between; good enough for protection but not for invasions or more than that.

The Tunisian Army is under-equipped and faces severe challenges due to equipment outdated, a limited budget of about a billion dollars, and little combat experience.

Despite all that, the military has been making significant progress since the revolution; in managing security threats and several domestic terrorism

The Tunisian Army has played a vital role in securing the country’s borders, particularly with Libya. The Tunisian navy has also actively patrolled the Mediterranean conducting search and rescue operations and dealing with the flow of illegal immigrants.

Therefore, The Defense Ministry’s budget has been growing by about 21% each year and the military has also enjoyed a steady stream of new weapons contracts (including 12 Blackhawk helicopters, 2 C-130J planes and a number of MRAPs and Humvees) and international partnerships, especially with the United States, which tripled military aid to Tunisia in 2015 and designated it as a Major Non-NATO Ally.

Source: https://www.americanmilitaryforum.com/forums/threads/tunisian-armed-forces.1533/



28. Foreign trade impact: 0.5

In 2014, Tunisia exported $16.756B of goods and $4.555B of services, and imported $24.828B of goods and $3.112B of services; by adding all these numbers together we get $49.251B, divided by Tunisia’s GDP of the same year 2014, $48.61B, we get 101.3% that is way higher than 33%. We can conclude that Tunisia rely a lot on foreign trade, which makes it very vulnerable to outside forces.

Source: http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/tun/


29. Management of foreign currency budget: 2.0

The European Union is Tunisia’s major market: approximately 80% of Tunisia’s exports go to the EU, and 60 % of imports originate from France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Tunisia is the EU’s 32nd largest trading partner representing 0.6% of the EU’s total trade with the world.

Tunisia is a net exporter of textiles and clothing (23.9%), agricultural products (olive oil, citrus fruit, vegetables, grain, sugar beets, dates, almonds) (8.5%), and machinery and transport equipment (40.6%). The country also sends abroad phosphates, chemicals, and hydrocarbons.

Tunisia imports mostly machinery and equipment (36.4%), chemicals (8.1%), fuel and mining products (10.4%), textiles and clothes (12.1%), and food.

Tunisia’s currency, The Tunisian Dinar (TND), is not traded outside Tunisia.

1 TND = 0.45 US Dollar / 1 US Dollar = 2.20 TND, this shows how large the currency inflation is.

Exports in Tunisia decreased to 2063.60 M TND in August from 2252 M TND in July of 2016.

Imports in Tunisia increased to 3460.80 M TND in August from 3074.20 M TND in July of 2016.

Tunisia recorded a trade deficit of 1397.20 M TND in August of 2016.

Tunisia recorded a Current Account deficit of 7.90% of the country's Gross Domestic Product in 2014.

Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/tunisia/indicators


30. Layers of collective action: 1.0

The President of the Republic nominates the Prime Minister, and on his suggestion, the other members of the Government. The President of the Republic presides over the Council of Ministers.

The people exercise the legislative power through a representative organ called National Parliament. The members of the National Parliament are elected by universal, free, direct, and secret suffrage, according to the modalities and conditions determined by the Electoral Law

An elector is every citizen possessing Tunisian nationality for at least five years and having attained at least twenty years of age. Any voter, born of a Tunisian father, who is at least twenty-five years of age on the day of submission of his candidacy, is eligible for election to the National Parliament.

Once the president is elected, he assigns ministers. The prime minister will assign province governors. The province governor assigns mayors.

It is typical that those people are not from the same city that they were elected to be mayors for or even province governors could be from elsewhere. They intentionally assign people from different regions to avoid corruption and treat everyone and every business fairly since they don’t know them at the first place, but at the same time locals know what their city wants and needs far better than an outsider.

I find it very effective when it comes to the police side of it, they assign them out of their local communities so they could be indifferent towards the public, but when it comes to city mayors, I personally haven’t seen any good change or initiative from someone who doesn’t know anything about the city or its people.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Tunisia

31. Pro-business climate: 5.0

Owning a business in Tunisia is considered a big deal and a high value, which makes you look more important and more successful. Especially if you bring new services and products to the market because Tunisians are extremely enthusiastic and won’t hesitate to test, discover, and try new stuff.

Source: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/10/02/eight-reasons-to-do-business-in-tunisia/

32. Government enterprises: 1.0

The Tunisian government owns and regulates many companies such as: The Tunisian shipping line (CTN), the industrial and commercial company of the petroleum sector (ETAP), The Tunisian Post (postal service), Tunisian Railways (SNCFT), Tunisian electricity and gas company (STEG), public schools and universities, hospitals…

The bad side of this situation is that the percentage of the GDP from government companies, in 2014, was 30% of the annual GDP. Which is bad because it creates a monopoly and increases corruption and inflation rate.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government-owned_companies


33. International security agreements: 1.0

Before the revolution of 2011: Tunisia had a fine military and a very secure country.

After the revolution of 2011: almost everything changed (government, law, military, security…); some to the better and some to the worst. Tunisia has had several terrorism attacks after 2011: Bardo National Museum Attack (03/18/15, 22 dead), Sousse Attack (07/26/15, 39 dead), Tunis Bombing (11/24/15, 13 dead), and political leaders were killed (Chokri belaid and Mohamed Brahmi) … Which let to a huge collapse of the main sector of Tunisia’s economy: Tourism.

The current government has a five-year mandate and places a priority on girding itself against terrorist attacks by shoring up and expanding its security sector.

On May 20, 2016, the current president of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi has signed a military and security agreement with the United States on his visit to Washington. But the policy still gets a low score because the agreement happened just a few months ago.

Source: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2016/nea/254465.htm



34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs: 5.0

The Tunisian economy is actually based on outsourcing, agriculture, tourism, and export: such as clothing, agricultural products (olive, hay…), semi-finished goods and textiles, mechanical goods, electrical equipment, and phosphates. And its main export partner is France. Tunisia has been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member since March 29th, 1995. That’s why the government actions indicate a preference for offshore and export-oriented FDI.

Manufacturing industries, particularly those producing for export, have fueled Tunisia's growth for many years. They contribute one-fifth of total GDP, three-quarters of export earnings, and employ more than one-fifth of the labor force.

Offshore investors are generally free to establish and own businesses and engage in remunerative activities, they also benefit tax exemptions on profits and reinvested revenues, duty-free import of capital goods with no local equivalents, and full tax and duty exemption on raw materials.

Tunisia assures a right to private ownership and protection of property for both foreign and domestic investors. But all investors are required to comply with the Tunisian law regarding labor, business license, social security, health insurance, consumer protection, environmental protection… It seems like a lot of requirements but it’s not. The government encourage investors to open new business because we have a very high rate of unemployment (15.3%).

Source http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2015/241773.htm#5



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