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Tunisia: Government predicts 7% growth rate by 2015

The interim Government implements a mid-term development strategy meant to bring the growth rate up to 7% by 2015, according to the document on the government action program for 2012.
The strategy, which paves the way for “a period of economic resumption,” also aims, according to the document, to increase the investment level to 26% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The expected growth rate will help increase the per capita income to 9,000 dinars as of 2016, pending an improvement of the international and regional environment and Tunisia’s breakthrough on new markets.
The government program unveiled “a strategy of economic revival” to start this year.
The strategy is planning to pull the national economy out of the recession and to reach a positive growth rate of 3.5%, in constant prices, against a negative growth rate of -2.2% in 2011.
The government will strive, as part of its program, to develop the growth sources through the rise of investment of 15,590 million Tunisian dinars (MTD), i.e., a 10.6% increase.
This will help improve the investment share in the GDP by 22.3%. It also forecasts a rise of 4% in public consumption, following a swelling of the payroll in the public sector, thanks to the additional hiring scheduled for 2012 — administrations and public enterprises–, not to mention the rise in private consumption of 4.1%.
The government program foresees a growth by 5.8% of exports of goods, thanks to the resumption of the production capacity of phosphate, in addition to the rise of tourist revenues by about 2,120 MTD, i.e., an increase of 10%.
 It also expects to reduce the current deficit of the external payments by 4,503 MTD in 2012 (+6.4% of the GDP).
The document revealed that financing the national economy will be based mainly on national savings, also with the recourse to foreign funding for the achievement of development projects.
Funding needs for 2012 are estimated at about 19,484 MTD, including 11,144 MTD of domestic funding. This is also dependent on the rise of the national investment volume.
The government plans to review as of April 2012 the system of incentives to investment and other legal texts related to it, with the aim of putting them into one code.
The projects in industrial zones will be temporarily exempted from the preparation of detailed fitting-out plans, given the slowness of procedures and lack of regional councils.
As regards foreign investment, promotional operations for Tunisia site will be launched in new markets, like the Scandinavian or Asian ones, while opening new representations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) in Canada, Malaysia, Turkey, Sweden and one in the Gulf countries.
Financial co-operation with the Islamic Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will be extended to support the private sector
The government aims, according to the document, to develop a privileged partnership with the European Union and reinforce Tunisia’s integration process in the European space (free movement of capitals and persons), while diversifying its partnership in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

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