Foreign investments declined by 24.1% during the first quarter of 2020 to the level of 461.7 million dinars (MD), equivalent to 162 million dollars, or 147 million euros, according to the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA).
The investments of the financial portfolio (stock market investment) decreased from 4.6 MD at the end of March 2019 to 1.9 MD in March 2020, while foreign direct investments (FDI) went from more than 600 MD to about 460 MD during the same period.
As for the sectoral distribution of foreign investments, FIPA indicators showed a drop in the energy sector (233 MD vs 286 MD in 2019), manufacturing industries (202 MD vs 258 MD) and services (20 MD vs 59 MD).
On the other hand, FDIs in the agricultural sector jumped from 580 thousand dinars at the end of March 2019 to nearly 4 MD in March 2020.
The remarkable drop in international direct investment “has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic, but is explained, rather, by the lack of political vision, due to the delay in the formation of the new government, and before that, the death of late President Beji Caid Essebsi and the appointment of an interim president,” according to FIPA official, who requested anonymity.
He also said that the first signs of this decline have been registered since the last three months of 2019.