SME Policy Index: The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014

Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

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This report assesses the elaboration and implementation of SME policy in eight Middle East and North African economies of the southern Mediterranean shore. The assessment is structured according to the ten policy principles covered in the Small Business Act for Europe (the SBA). One of the main findings is that over the last five years there has been progress in SME policy elaboration and implementation in spite of the political and economic turmoil. However, that progress has been modest, incremental and uneven across economies and dimensions. Political and economic stability, as well as institutional development, had a major impact on policy performance.

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Tunisia is an upper middle-income economy, with a GDP per capita of USD 4 213 and a population of 10.7 million in 2012 (World Bank 2014). Being a net importer of oil and with fewer natural resources than its neighbours, the Tunisian economy is more diversified and integrated through international trade. This led to strong economic growth during recent decades. The integration of the Tunisian economy into the global economy through new trade agreements, in particular with the European Union, which is Tunisia’s leading economic partner, has contributed to the country’s economic growth.

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