Tunisia sets out five-year economic plan

16 September 2015

Tunis aims for 5 per cent growth

  • Tunisia’s 2020 economic plan aims for 5 per cent average growth rates and 11 per cent unemployment
  • Plan focuses on good governance and diversification

Tunisia has unveiled the outline of its 2016 to 2020 economic plan to return the country to growth following four years of political turbulence.

The plan aims for a 5 per cent average growth until 2020, and a reduction in unemployment from 15.2 per cent to 11 per cent.

The Washington-based IMF predicts at average GDP growth of 4.6 per cent for the period. Tunisia often growth rates over 4 per cent before 2011, but this was still not enough to provide employment and reduce poverty.

The country is officially in recession in 2015 following GDP contractions of 0.2 and 0.7 per cent in the first two quarters of 2015 following terrorism attacks on foreign tourists. The Ministry of Finance expects 0.5 to 1 per cent growth for 2015.

Tunis also plans to reduce the public deficit from 8.5 per cent of GDP to 6.8 per cent by 2020.

The five-year plan focuses on good governance, diversification, sustainability and regional investment.

While in Tunisia last week, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, advised the government to speed up deep economic reforms to achieve inclusive growth and job creation in a radio interview. The key reforms are investment-oriented public spending, restructuring the banking sector, which is already underway, and creating a good climate for private sector investment.

Tunisia is planning to request more funds from the IMF, after a $1.68bn stand-by agreement, which is expected to be fully disbursed in December 2015.

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