Economy in Tunisia

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Economy—overview: Tunisia has a diverse economy with important agricultural mining energy tourism and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization of trade and commerce simplification of the tax structure and a prudent approach to debt. Real growth averaged 4.6% in 1992-96 and reached 5.6% in 1997 down from 6.9% in 1996 which benefited from a record cereal crop. Inflation has been moderate. Growth in tourism and increased trade have been key elements in this solid record. Tunisia's association agreement with the European Union entered into force on 1 March 1998 the first such accord between the EU and Mediterranean countries to be activated. Under the agreement Tunisia will gradually remove barriers to trade with the EU over the next decade. Further privatization the attraction of increased foreign investment and improvements in government efficiency are among the challenges for the future.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$56.5 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5.6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6 100 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 14%

industry: 28%

services: 58% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 4.6% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 2.917 million (1993 est.)

by occupation: services 55% industry 23% agriculture 22% (1995 est.)

note: shortage of skilled labor

Unemployment rate: 15% (1997 est.)


revenues: $6.3 billion

expenditures: $6.8 billion including capital expenditures to $1.5 billion (1997 est.)

Industries: petroleum mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore) tourism textiles footwear food beverages

Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (1995)

Electricity—capacity: 1.414 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 6.165 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 696 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: olives dates oranges almonds grain sugar beets grapes; poultry beef dairy products


total value: $5.6 billion (f.o.b. 1997 est.)

commodities: hydrocarbons textiles agricultural products phosphates and chemicals

partners: EU 80% North African countries 6% Asia 4% US 1% (1996)


total value: $7.4 billion (c.i.f. 1997 est.)

commodities: industrial goods and equipment 57% hydrocarbons 13% food 12% consumer goods

partners: EU countries 80% North African countries 5.5% Asia 5.5% US 5% (1996)

Debt—external: $10.6 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $221 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Tunisian dinar (TD) = 1 000 millimes

Exchange rates: Tunisian dinars (TD) per US$1—1.1612 (January 1998) 1.1059 (1997) 0.9734 (1996) 0.9458 (1995) 1.0116 (1994) 1.0037 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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