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Tunisia: production of oil and phosphates to reach 5 and 6 million tons in 2016

Tunisia’s production of oil and natural gas in 2016 will reach almost 5.1 million toes (ton of oil equivalent). Phosphate production will amount to 6 million tons, said Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Zakaria Hamad.

The Minister of Industry noted at a plenary session of the House of People’s Representatives Sunday that the production of oil and natural gas fell in 2015, parallel to the production of phosphates which declined to 3.2 million tons during the same period.

The Minister justified the expected increase in production of oil and gas in Tunisia by prospecting efforts that will enable the commissioning of three new wells in 2016, in addition to drilling 11 new wells in the same year.

The industrial sector will record a growth of 2% in 2016, according to estimates up 6% in terms of industrial exports and an investment volume of around 2,300 MTD.

Hamad said his department has worked during 2015 to restore investor confidence and to make progress towards the achievement of blocked projects (the planned extension of the natural gas network is still blocked in Gafsa).

He noted that the growth of the industrial sector does not exceed 0.9% in 2015, against an average of 4 to 5% before, but this rate is still favorable compared to the growth of the national economy.

On another level, the minister said that industrial exports reached 25 billion dinars in 2015, a positive balance which, according to him, is the result of the evolution of food industries, unlike other sectors, such as leather, textiles and clothing and chemical industries which are suffering from many problems.

Hamad said that investment intentions in the industrial sector have been stable until the end of November 2015, compared to 2014. However, they fall short of ambitions. This indicator corroborates the rise of FDI by around 6%, unlike local investment, which remains below expectations.

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