2018 OECD Economic Surveys: Tunisia 2018

Economic Assessment

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Tunisia has experienced strong economic and social progress in recent decades and, more recently, a successful democratic transition. The convergence process has slowed down, however, due to the low level of investment since the early 2000s, while regional and labour market inequalities have persisted. Since 2011, the external and public debt-to-GDP ratios have risen sharply. To put them back on a sustainable path, structural reforms that can sustain growth and competitiveness are needed. In order to boost business investment, regulatory and administrative constraints - including the many licences, permissions to operate and administrative authorisations, pricing constraints and restrictions on competition in certain sectors - need to be reduced. Strengthening Tunisia's competitiveness in global value chains through trade facilitation measures and greater efficiency of logistics services is also key. Encouraging women's participation in the labour market, adapting training to the needs of employers and reducing social security contributions on payroll will help create quality jobs. A new regional development policy, emphasising the specific assets of each region around the development of urban centres, is needed.


English Also available in: French

Toward more inclusive growth: reducing inequalities through quality job creation

The average standard of living of the Tunisians has been steadily increasing for several decades, while poverty and inequality have been greatly reduced by the implementation of many social programs. Access to basic infrastructure such as drinking water or electricity has also been developed. However, the employment rate remains low, especially for women; about a third of young people are unemployed and informal work is widespread. There is an urgent need to promote training that meet the employers’ needs and to encourage women employment. The reduction of social security contributions on salaried employment will allow the creation of quality jobs. The implementation of the financial inclusion strategy will facilitate access to finance. Regional disparities in terms of unemployment and standard of living between coastal and inland regions are important. A new regional development policy, emphasising the specific assets of each region around the development of urban centers, is needed. The 2014 Constitution, which provides for increased autonomy and power of local authorities, represents an opportunity to achieve this goal.

English Also available in: French


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