Tunisian growth is expected to reach 2.5% next year compared with 0.5% in 2015, Finance Minister Slim Chaker said. Growth dwindled along with tourism, which provides 7% of GDP, after terror attacks in the capital and at a beach resort killed a total of 61 people. A state of emergency imposed after the second attack, at a beach in Sousse, was just lifted two weeks ago. Losses in the tourism were projected at $515 million or more for 2015 after that attack.
“Our total needs in 2016 will be 6 billion dinar, including 3 billion dinar from external loans,” Chaker said, “We expect next year to launch a delayed sukuk Islamic financing bond for 1 billion dinar.”
Tunisia now will need $1.53 billion, or 3 billion dinars, in external financing for 2016 and intends to cut its budget deficit to 3.9% next year. The country’s deficit was expected to narrow to 3.9% of gross domestic product 9GDP) next year from an estimated 4.4 percent this year. Inflation is forecast to slow to 4% next year from the 4.5% expected in 2015. Energy subsidies will decline from 850 million dinar this year to 550 million dinar next year. As part of a plan to ease fuel subsidies gradually, Tunisia will begin a new system of automatic adjustments to petrol prices.
Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has made a transition to democracy, an achievement for which a quartet of organizations won the Nobel Peace Prize recently. But international lenders want more economic reforms to match its political progress. Against those demands, the government intends to manage the frustrations of ordinary Tunisians.
Tunisia, officially known as the Tunisian Republic or the Republic of Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa, covering 165,000 sq km (64,000 sq mi). Its northernmost point, Ras ben Sakka, is the northernmost point on the African continent. It is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. As of 2013, its population is estimated at just under 10.8 million. Its name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on the country’s northeast coast. It has a high human development index. It has an association agreement with the European Union and is a member of La Francophonie, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Arab Maghreb Union, the Arab League, the OIC, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and obtained the status of Major non-NATO ally. In addition, Tunisia is also a state party the principal world’s institutions such as the United Nations or the International Criminal Court. Close relations with Europe – in particular with France and with Italy – have been forged through economic cooperation, privatisation and industrial modernization.