Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Tunisia would end the year 2015 with a growth rate of 1%, saying the Fund remains optimistic about the recovery of the Tunisian economy.
Taking part in a debate with representatives of civil society, political parties and the House of People’s Representatives as well as businessmen and academics organized on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) Lagarde, spoke of the impact of the difficult global economic situation and in particular the deceleration of growth in the European Union on the poor growth rate in Tunisia.
She also recalled the impact of recent attacks on the national economy and particularly on the tourism sector.
According to economic studies and analyzes, each drop of 1% growth in the euro zone, will have a negative impact on growth by 0.6% in Tunisia, she has indicated.
The tourism sector which contributes 7% to GDP and provides about 400,000 direct job positions was strongly hit by the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, namely the Bardo (March 18) and the Sousse (June 26) attacks.
Lagarde predicts the sector’s revenues in foreign currency will decline 50% at the end of the year.
Tunisia recorded a growth of 1.7% during the first quarter of this year; this rate fell to 0.7% in the second half.
IMF Chief remains nevertheless optimistic about the improvement of the situation in the country during the next period.
She indicated that the prices of commodities on world markets will experience a remarkable decrease next year with a possible fall in oil prices.
“This could have a positive impact on the Tunisian economy, especially thanks to the improved situation in the Euro zone, the leading partner of the country (70% of trade with the EU),” said the IMF Chief.
The Managing Director of IMF reminded that Tunisia had recorded a growth rate of 2.5% in the years 2013 and 2014, but the difficult global economic situation and the disturbed situation in some neighboring countries, besides social protests inside the country and the recent terrorist attacks have affected the country’s pace of growth.